Mathis Bongo’s education program is rewarded for its innovative system using new technology in practical education. Jury Chairman of the Norwegian Association for Distance Education Ingeborg Bø is impressed with the program.

- The training program is tailored to the audience in both content and form. He uses technology in a very nice way and works together across disciplines. Moreover, he combines the expert knowledge of reindeer herders with academia in the program. Therefore, he is rewarded with the award for that year's online teacher.

Built up from experience

-It is key in working with the education model that the indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge is used as the base and combined with school-based knowledge. Therefore, we, together with reindeer herding developed an education program that is tailored to the industry, "says associate professor Mathis Bongo. Much of the background to the project, he has drawn from his own experience and that others from herding families have experienced when they start school.
-I chose to move on to school after primary school and it resulted in that I had to leave early, or let go of reindeer husbandry in favor of education, because it was not possible to combine reindeer husbandry and education in a satisfactory manner. Much of husbandry knowledge that I had built up during childhood, has been harmed in this process and perhaps it is just the fear of losing husbandry knowledge means that many people from herding communities are reluctant to carry out formal education, "Bongo says.

Focusing further on distance learning
The training program is part of climate research project Ealát, where climate change and reindeer are in focus. One of the areas in the project is about building up expertise in the industry and one of the leaders in the project, Svein Mathiesen is delighted for the price Mathis Bongo receives. - It's a great pleasure to see that his efforts are appreciated, because he has made higher education available for reindeer herders at a level not seen before.

Rector of the Sami University College is also very pleased with the prize. - This award is a great honor to Bongo and the Sami University College. This shows that our academic staff is among the foremost in the use of new technology. The award also provides an excellent basis to expand our range of distance learning. This is something we are already committed to and this award comes in handy at work.

For more information on the EALAT Project see