20.03.2015 - UNESCO Office in Doha

Promoting Open Educational Resources Policies for the GCC States and Yemen


Within the framework of UNESCO’s efforts to promote Open Educational Resources (OER) in the GCC and Yemen, UNESCO Doha Office with UNESCO Headquarters organised a sub-regional seminar to discuss the implementation of policies and strategies aimed at integrating OER in education in the GCC and Yemen region from 18 to 19 March 2015 at the Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha, Qatar.

Defined as any type of educational materials in the public domain, or released with an open license allowing free use, adaptation, and distribution, Open Educational Resources (OERs) present Ministries of Education and educational institutions with a strategic opportunity to increase the quality of educational materials by using ICTs to foster access to education, especially for disadvantaged groups.

The regional seminar is part of UNESCO’s mandate to operationalise the 2012 Paris OER Declaration which calls on all member states to guarantee open access to high-quality education and to develop knowledge sharing by openly licensing publicly funded educational materials for public use.

Reminding participants during the opening ceremony that universal access to high quality education is key to the building of peace, sustainable social, economic development and intercultural dialogue, Dr. Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO Doha Office and UNESCO Representative in the GCC and Yemen, said that “OERs also make it possible for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about the world around them and access the tools they need to improve their lives and livelihoods”.

Dr. Paolini also added that even though the concept remains relatively new in the region, “we are very proud to see that several member states, including the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, have taken the lead in developing policies to release educational resources on open license and we hope that today’s seminar will encourage more member states in the region to implement similar policies”.

A delegation from the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Ministry of Education of the Sultanate of Oman presented their newly developed National OER Policy to participants.

The workshop was attended by delegations from Ministries of Education from Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen as well as experts and professors from universities and institutions in the Arab region.

The event was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a private foundation working in the field of education, the environment, global development and population, the performing arts, and philanthropy.

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