Beirut, 20 May 2020 – The COVID-19 outbreak has translated into a major education crisis, causing school closure worldwide and disruption of regular education services. In the Arab region, where 13 million children and youth are already out-of-school due to conflict, an additional 100 million learners are now affected by school interruption. While many Arab countries have developed distance/remote learning solutions to ensure that learning never stops, major concerns remain as to the implications and effectiveness of distance learning modalities, and teachers’ preparedness to deliver remote teaching.
In Lebanon, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) has developed three tracks to continue delivering education: lessons through the TV, online courses, in addition to classes held in the traditional way. The first two tracks are being implemented by both MEHE and the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD).
Within the framework of its Communication and Information sector mandate, and UNESCO ICT-CFT framework for teachers using Open Education Resources (OER), UNESCO Beirut Office has kicked off its support to CERD. This support comes through a series of train of trainers online workshops that UNESCO Beirut launched on 18 May 2020 aiming at training teachers to cope with the changes, in particular, how to move from traditional teaching to online teaching. The training will build teachers’ capacities in the use of ICT in education, as well as in the curriculum, assessment strategies, pedagogy, school and class organization, administration as well ongoing professional development.
During the launch of the training series, Mr. George Awad, Programme Specialist for Communication & Information at UNESCO Beirut said: “It is of utmost importance to cope with the pandemic at the educational level and in particular through the different resources and platforms UNESCO has developed to assist Member States. Hence, our support for CERD came as a natural step to help develop a comprehensive strategy to provide resources, mechanisms and most of methodology to move along the current change where education is not the same and how we access information and knowledge has definitely changed its way”.
The training course is developed and led by Dr. Fawzi Baroud, holder of UNESCO Chair for OER and professor at Notre Dame University, Lebanon.