Technology-enabled Open Schools for All
UNESCO is assisting the Ministries of Education and other partners of Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana in the implementation of a three-year (2020-2023) project to design, pilot test, and scale up Technology-enabled Open School Systems. This UNESCO-Huawei Funds-in-Trust project aims to build technology-enabled crisis-resilient school systems that will connect school-based and home-based learning, to ensure the continuity and quality of learning no matter under normal or crises situations.
The project takes up the following challenge: Schools in low-resource countries can be transformed into technology-enabled open schools and provide inclusive, equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It will empower and help countries to rethink and build the new generation of digital schools and digital learners. Schools systems could thus ensure the continuity and quality of learning for all learners in the face of future global pandemics and crises situations.
- design and contextualize technology-enabled open school systems
- support the building of local technology-enabled open school systems
- pilot test and scale up the local technology-enabled open school systems
Aligned with UNESCO’s Priority Africa, the project will ensure that sub-Saharan African countries can leverage technologies as accelerator for achieving SDG 4 and as equalizer for digital development opportunities. It contributes to achieving the goals of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, including sustained investments on universal early childhood development and basic education, and the elimination of gender disparities at all levels of education.
E-school models and education programmes
UNESCO has developed other e-school models and education programmes, such as:
- ICT Transforming Education in Africa (Korean-Funds-in-Trust (KFIT) project)
- Enhancing teacher education in Africa through the use of ICT (Chinese-Funds-in-Trust project)
- Technical and vocational education and training, Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) (Korean-Funds-in-Trust project)
UNESCO also supports ICT in education policy development to ensure sustainability and mainstream the initiative into national strategies. The Organization steered the development of a publication on AI and education entitled “AI and education: Guidance for policy-makers”. This publication offers guidance to policy-makers in understanding artificial intelligence and responding to the challenges and opportunities in education presented by AI. UNESCO intends to organize capacity building activities for policy-makers based on the Guidance.
Ensuring effective distance learning during COVID-19 disruption: Guidance for teachers, available in several languages, provides relevant guidance for school teachers to facilitate students’ effective distance learning, relevant case studies, and curated resources that are relevant to distance learning models. It also features a taxonomy to assess the functionalities of online platforms.
UNESCO has recently released an updated version of its ICT in Education policy toolkit, a resource centre for education policymakers and planners as well as an online tool that provides step-by-step guidance to create an ICT policy and master plan. The toolkit is informed by UNESCO’s experience in supporting Member States to develop, implement and monitoring sector-wide policies and masterplans harnessing the potential of ICT to ensure equitable and inclusive education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.