IICBA at the Global Dialogue on ICT and Education Innovation held in Moscow

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of UNESCO IICBA, participated in the “Global Dialogue on ICT and Education Innovation – Towards Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG 4)” held on 18-19 April 2018 in Moscow, Russia. Organized by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, this meeting aimed to provide a platform to share policies and innovative experience, promote partnerships, and discuss the challenges and opportunities of ICT-enhanced quality education.

During the panel session on ICT Potential for Future Teachers and Future Schools, Dr. Yumiko presented the achievements and challenges in enhancing teaching and learning through ICT integration in Africa. She started by introducing IICBA’s work on ICT integration in teacher development, including:

·  Online Distance Learning platform for Master Teachers in Africa (http://www.unescoafrica.org/odl/);

·  ICT teacher education enhancement in Africa with UNESCO-China Funds in Trust (CFIT);

·  ICT-enhanced Teacher Development (ICTeTD) training module;

·  Master teacher training in ICT in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for girls;

·  E-Learning content development;

·  ICTs for Teachers in emergency & refugee situations in Kenya and South Sudan with UNICEF & UNHCR; and

·  Workshop follow-up using WhatsApp in STEM and peacebuilding teacher training.

She then elaborated that the use of ICT can increase the access of quality teacher education programmes; it brings opportunities to make learning contents more visual and understandable, and helps to improve teaching and learning by making it more ‘interactive’, ‘learner-centred’ and ‘activity-oriented’. However, remaining challenges such as plagiarism and the availability and cost of hardware, power and internet detract from ICT integration in Africa; and the issues are severer in rural areas.

She concluded with the huge potential of ICT use in teacher development in Africa. First, there are high demands among teachers. Second, with the use of ICT, assessments can be more effective and timely, teaching and learning can be more innovative and interactive. Furthermore, it can connect teachers, and provide means to continue learning. Today, green solution is available for power and internet connectivity, which brings opportunities to cope with Africa’s challenges in ICT integration.

The occasion attracted participants from many countries including African states, and created several useful and interesting networks and information sharing. IICBA hopes to follow-up some issues raised – for example, creative ways of filling the gap of digital divide between rural and urban population, and making teaching and learning in Africa more interactive and innovative with the use of ICT.