Arab States: UNESCO & TAGORG launch ICT in Education Indicators
UNESCO and the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG.org) have launched a pilot project on ICT in Education indicators in Arab States at a meeting for ICT in Education Policy developers in Amman, Jordan.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an increasing important part in the way we communicate, learn and live. Likewise, ICTs are being introduced into education systems worldwide through various initiatives such as ICT enhanced learning, application of Open Educational Resources, computers in schools. Significant resources are invested in national ICT in Education initiatives, and key to developing and implementing such initiatives is the availability of appropriate, timely and reliable educational statistics on which policies can be based and progress measured.
UNESCO and TAG.org are cooperating on building capacity in Arab States by strengthening national capabilities to define ICT in education indicators for measuring the use and impact of applying ICTs in education, as well as to facilitate the ICT in education policy development.
The ICT in Education Indicators for Arab States project was launched in Amman Jordan with an initial meeting of Policy Developers from Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
The Amman meeting found that the application of ICT in Education varies significantly across the region to enhance access to quality education as well as effective school management; however there is a common aspiration of taking full advantage of new ICTs both in effective school and learning management as well as to provide students with 21st century skills. The meeting further identified a series of top national issues with regards to ICT in Education. While the monitoring of enabling conditions (e.g. political commitment, ICT infrastructure, public-private partnership etc.) remained a common primary concern for most countries in the region, some additional reoccurring issues were:
The lack of quality contents in Arabic, and opportunities for their cost-effective sharing between countries (e.g. via regional open educational resources platforms)
Teacher training and the incentives for change
Leadership in applying ICT in education (including use of ICTs to improve school-based management)
Research, monitoring and assessment of impacts to inform decision-making
Learning Management Systems as a source of relevant data if aggregated from individual schools to system level.
The project is part of a concerted effort by UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector, Education Sector and the Institute for Statistics (UIS) to provide Member States with a comprehensive approach to developing, implementing and assessing national ICT in Education Master Plans.