How to sustain the gains made through UNESCO- GPE Anglophone West Africa COVID-19 Education Response Project? UNESCO IICBA co-organized an experience sharing workshop in Ghana.

UNESCO IICBA organized, in collaboration with UNESCO Accra Office, an experience sharing workshop from 14 to 15 March 2022 in Accra, Ghana. The objective of the workshop was to exchange ideas on how to sustain the gains made through UNESCO-Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Anglophone West Africa COVID-19 Education Response Project.

The project aims at supporting the targeted five West African Anglophone countries – The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone - through interventions such as adaptation, scaling and rapidly deploying a regional platform for distance and blended learning, strengthening regional cooperation and pooling resources for the development and diversification of educational resources.

The workshop brought together teachers, officials of UNESCO, National commissions for UNESCO and the Education ministries of the five countries to discuss issues relating to digital learning, particularly an online learning platform that UNESCO and the GPE have supported the countries to develop. UNESCO IICBA was represented by Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of IICBA and Dr. Temechegn Engida, Program Officer specialized in ICT integration in teacher development.

According to Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, Ghana, this project is one of several UNESCO projects being implemented in Ghana and which contribute immensely to the government’s efforts at integrating information and communications technology (ICT) into the country’s educational system at all levels.

“I wish to express my profound gratitude to UNESCO for its COVID-19 educational response that ensured continuity of learning in many countries, including Ghana, during the peak of the pandemic”. Said Rev. John Ntim Fordjour.

The deputy minister said the government is determined to make the education system very resilient to withstand any unforeseeable crises in future and assured of its commitment to collaborate with UNESCO and other development partners to enable Ghana to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning.

Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of UNESCO Office in Ghana, presented the gaps in the education system that need to be addressed, including low level of digital literacy among teachers, low content quality assurance, low access to internet connectivity and the high cost of data. He also mentioned that learners with disabilities and children from poor/rural areas do not benefit equally, which he said could be attributed to insufficient ICT in education policies and legal environments.

“UNESCO is committed to addressing some of these gaps in Ghana through some interventions. UNESCO is supporting the government to review its ICT in Education Policy and is developing ICT Competency Framework for Teachers,” Mr Diallo said.

Through this project, UNESCO IICBA was tasked to handle the teacher training component of the GPE Anglophone West Africa Project. Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki presented the teacher training modules developed by IICBA and the enrollment statistics.

UNESCO IICBA designed a regional platform for open distance and blended learning, named  which contains 10 Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)-based teacher training modules with restricted access for external users. The platform was initially expected to enroll 1,000 teachers, so far 21,632 teachers have been enrolled in the five countries, out of which 4,007 are from Ghana.

IICBA went through a rigorous process of validating these modules by selected 20 national experts from each country. The average ratings of the modules were very high, ranging from 2.6 to 2.9 out of a 3-point scale. These figures indicate that the modules were of high quality and relevant to the curriculum of the target countries. This high quality ratings, coupled with the high number of enrolments and completion as well as the positive perceptions received from teachers present online and physically at the experience sharing workshop were encouraging.  This suggests that the content and approach will be scaled up in each country provided that there is a continuous follow up at national level in each country.

UNESCO IICBA is committed to continue supporting African countries in enhancing content delivery through innovative means through the use of ICT for teaching and learning.

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