» Myanmar teachers empowered for the first time by mobile technology in class
27.09.2016 - Education Sector

Myanmar teachers empowered for the first time by mobile technology in class

©UNESCO/A. Tam

The new academic year in Myanmar saw the start of a first of its kind UNESCO project to introduce mobile technology into classrooms.

Teachers from 31 project schools in rural or semi-urban areas got their first taste of using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for mobile learning, after their participation in a series of UNESCO’s ICT-pedagogy integration training in the previous months.

UNESCO Yangon’s ICT for Education Programme has taken a sustainable approach transferring ICT-pedagogy to a dedicated team from the Myanmar Department of Basic Education who in turn give their knowledge and technical and pedagogical support to teachers in rural or semi-urban project schools.

Programme Assistant Daw Nwe Ni Win has been supporting the implementation of the project. She is from a village in Mon State, where some of the project schools are located, and shares her experience in this video.

Real gains in teacher confidence and ICT skills

Daw Yaung War Lin, a Life Skills teacher of Basic Education High School in Bago Region, Myanmar, is one of the many trained teachers who have overcome their fear of using new technology as teaching aids and put them to use in the classroom. Like many teachers during the first basic training she had difficulty in typing and controlling the mouse.

She said: “I felt frustrated because I was not able to follow closely what the trainers taught us. We were given assignments every night. I tried my best to complete them and I realized on the next day that I did not save my work. With the guidance of the trainers, I managed to do the assignments again and then I caught up faster.”

After only six months, teachers were able to create presentation files with graphics and videos to teach subjects such as mathematics, life skills and Myanmar. English teachers started using a tailor-made mobile digital learning application to teach English and students responded with great interest.

Milestone for education in Myanmar

“I now feel more comfortable in teaching my class using ICT. I have customized a number of presentation files as teaching aids to arouse students’ interest in learning life skills,” she said.

The project is part of the Connect To Learn initiative in Myanmar launched by Ericsson, the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and other project partners including UNESCO to promote mobile technology for learning and to serve as another important milestone for the Ministry of Education in the education reform process in Myanmar.

It has so far provided 3,100 tablets, 186 teacher laptops, over 270 instructional training hours directly to 22 Department of Basic Education team members, 31 school leaders and 155 teachers in Mandalay Region, Bago Region and Mon State. Trained teachers are transferring their knowledge to other teachers in the 31 basic education high schools in Myanmar.

Along with other partners, the project also receives support from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Myanmar.

UNESCO will celebrate World Teachers’ Day on October 5 at Paris Headquarters and across the world.

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