Distance learning: Making the connection in Asia
Can educational policies be improved through distance training? As globalized societies present constant challenges and opportunities for the design and delivery of education and training, education actors increasingly look to open and distance learning as the key to quality higher Education for All
Building capacity is one of UNESCO’s core missions, and the central mission of its International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), a capacity development institute. In this context, open and distance learning is seen as a force for both development and the democratization of education.
Educational targets can only be met with strong competencies at national level. IIEP is developing distance training programmes on education sector planning which allow a large number of educational actors to be trained at the same time in the same region.
Following two successful distance training programmes on education sector planning in Africa, IIEP is now launching similar programmes in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam, using innovative and collaborative training methods. Over a period of 11 months, 80 officials from Ministries of Education, universities and training institutions will be simultaneously provided with the skills necessary to prepare critical and effective educational policies and plans.
“All that I learned in the programme I can apply immediately to the day-to-day activities in my workplace,” remarks a former trainee from Kenya. “I am now more confident and efficient in my professional work.”
By transferring training knowledge to officials in national research and training institutions specialized in educational policy and planning – who can then replicate what they learn and adapt it to their local context – IIEP ensures that capacities at local levels are developed in a sustainable way. Regional cooperation will also be developed, as particip<a name="_GoBack"></a>ants will be able to share their knowledge, practice and experience on educational policies and planning all along the training.
The new programme, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, is being implemented in partnership with the University of Hong Kong. Its official launch is on Wednesday, 6 June, with an opening ceremony in each of the participating countries. High-level representatives from Ministries of Education, UNESCO, J.P. Morgan, and local institutions will welcome the participants.