Information & Communication Technologies for Education
UNESCO, in partnership with UNESCWA, is developing e-learning resources and training courses to ensure a better educational system in Iraq.
Information and communication technology (ICT) has quickly become one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Many countries now regard understanding ICT and mastering its basic skills and concepts as a part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy.
The education system in Iraq, prior to 1991, was one of the best in the region. However, following Iraq’s wars and years of international sanctions, the education sector has suffered greatly. Moreover, the country’s ICT facilities and applications are very weak; most teachers have either very little or no ICT literacy at all, and thus are ill-suited to play their role to help create a new generation of ICT literate students. Delivering ICT in education system in Iraq will help overcome this problem by fostering greater ICT literacy among students, teachers, school principals, and Ministry of Education (MoE) staff. This renewal of Iraq's educational system is vital because Iraqi youth will determine their country's future.
The development goal and immediate objectives of this project are:
- To reorient Iraqi educational policy objectives and strategies to maximize the effectiveness of the use of "ICT In Education"
- To build sustainable capacity in the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Iraq to develop ICT-based curriculum instruction, learning and assessment
- To upgrade the school physical learning environment through the provision of ICT facilities to support ICT effective learning (UNESCWA responsibility).
The “ICT in Education for Iraq” project is designed to build sustainable capacity in Iraqi MoE for the continuing quality improvement of teaching and learning, focusing on the use of ICT. In order to improve ICT literacy and skills of the MoE staff, teachers, and students, the institutional capacity of the MoE will be enhanced to design, develop, and distribute a variety of e-learning resources, accompanied by programs of teacher professional development to implement such resources. The following are key outputs of the project:
- Assisted the Ministry of Education in the production of a strategy to be adopted for introducing ICT in Iraqi Education. 10 staff members from the MoE attended workshops during November–December 2007 and joined conducted tours of schools in a country with well established ICT in their education.
- Delivered training to 14 Iraqi MoE officials from the Directorate of Curriculum, Information and Communication Centre and the Directorate of Educational Supervision on e-content development in Amman during November–December 2007. In addition, a study tour was organized to Morocco to expose 10 Iraqi MoE high level officials to best practices in ICT policy development.
- Created core teams in the MoE with the skills and knowledge enabling them to produce e-learning packages. As a test production, the teams will produce e-learning packages dealing with sections of four curriculum subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry for students attending the 9th and 12th grades). The teams attended two workshops in Amman in the first phase of the training program conducted by 15 staff members and they are being supervised by experts to complete the production remotely. An additional e-learning package "Arabic for Non Arabic speaking Iraqis" will be produced, which will be of considerable assistance to bolster the teaching of Arabic in the KRG (Kurdish region).
- Trained 14 teachers, monitors and supervisors on the methodology of Blended Learning to be implemented in ICT enabled Iraqi schools.
- Trained a core team of trainers and managers consisting of 17 members and enabled them to obtain the CTP (Computer Training Specialist) certificate from the ICDL GCC (International Computer Driving License Gulf Committee). With this certification the certified teachers should be able to train an additional number of ICDL certified teachers, who will in turn carry on delivering their classes using the Blended Learning/Teaching methodology. The project aims at creating a uniform and knowledgeable training and teaching staff in the MoE.