Transcultura Programme promotes knowledge of Digital Educommunication in Cuban institutions of the Regional Cultural Training Hub

In collaboration with the Transcultura Programme, the young Cuban IT specialist Ernesto Prado joined the UNESCO-UNED course "Other Ways to Teach in the 21st Century", an initiative of the Education Sector at the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean that brought 19 specialists from Cuba and the Dominican Republic to the online classroom. 

For the Regional Office, and in the case of Cuban specialists, this action falls within the scope of the United Nations Cooperation Framework for Sustainable Development. Cuba 2020-2024 and the Immediate Socio-Economic Response Plan to COVID-19 of the United Nations System in Cuba.

Ernesto is the Director of Information Technology at the University of the Arts (ISA), one of the institutions belonging to the Transcultura Regional Cultural Training Hub. Through the Programme, he received an invitation to deepen his knowledge of key digital Educommunication issues and share this new knowledge with colleagues from other Cuban institutions of the Hub.

For him it became, in the first place, an excellent opportunity to compare the first steps in the implementation of online education in Cuba with international experiences.

"From a professional standpoint, it was something new. In the six years I have been working on distance education, in both my previous and current job, this experience has surpassed all others.”

During a knowledge familiarisation session, attended online by specialists from the Ministry of Culture, the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, the Cuban Fund for Cultural Heritage and the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños, Ernesto shared the impact that the knowledge acquired has had on his daily work.

I wanted to show teachers at ISA that even if we go back to face-to-face teaching, online education will continue to be part of our day-to-day work as teachers.
Ernesto Prado, IT specialist

Yet the impact of this UNESCO-UNED course goes much further. The young IT specialist recognises that the new knowledge has helped him to boost the process of virtualising the educational processes at the University of the Arts.

It enabled us to determine the indicators needed for our own virtualisation process. UNESCO gave us this opportunity at exactly the right time because at ISA we were beginning to take the first steps in this process.

Prado highlighted the feasibility of the MOOC model for the Cuban context given the possibilities it offers to train a great number of students asynchronously, which results in greater flexibility for the students and for the teaching staff, who do not have to be connected during the sessions, but instead record them beforehand.

Transcultura, a UNESCO programme, funded by the EU, supports the advancement of distance education models in the Cuban institutions comprising the Regional Cultural Training Hub. The Hub brings together academic and cultural institutions in Cuba and the Caribbean in order to provide training opportunities for youths from the 17 Member States of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) participating in the Programme.