UNESCO, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and GIZ launch capacity development programme for university teachers in Jordan to deliver quality e-learning
Amman-9th November 2020- As a direct response to the impact of the COVID-19 on the education system the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UNESCO and GIZ launched a capacity development programme for university teachers to deliver quality e-learning at national higher education institutions.
UNESCO and the Germany Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) signed an agreement on 10th of September 2020 to support the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) through the project “Strengthening national capacities to develop and deliver quality e-Learning in higher education institutions in Jordan”. This new partnership intends to provide support to the newly established National Centre of E-Learning and Open Education Resources at the MoHESR and is a direct response to the impact of the COVID-19 on the education system.
Within this partnership, a capacity development initiative was launched today, which over the next seven weeks will certify a total of 50 master trainers from 23 public and private universities in Jordan with competencies in designing and providing quality e-learning. This programme will be the foundation to build the capacities of the National Center of E-Learning and Open Education Resources as those master trainers will then cascade the same training within all universities next year. Further technical assistance will be provided to equip the center with practical guidelines to support all universities in Jordan in developing standardized and quality online programmes.
Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan emphasizes “it is important to recall the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which focuses on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning. The new UNESCO-GIZ partnership is critically important especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, when the Government of Jordan is investing on strengthening the role of e-learning in the education system”.
E-learning has become an essential element globally as it has in the higher education system in Jordan. While it has raised the importance of digital skills, it has also highlighted challenges in terms of assessment as well as the quality of e-learning content, which in turn increases pressure on the academic lecturers expected to develop and manage e-learning content. This new partnership will support the MoHESR in addressing these challenges. Enhancing the relevance and quality of e-learning, as well as improving the quality of teaching at the higher education level, will likely encourage more students to join higher education institutions. It will also respond to the needs of all students who will now be able to continue their off-campus studies, especially those more acutely affected such as vulnerable students, students with disabilities and female students.
GIZ Head of Education Programmes, Ms Stephanie Petrasch, highlights that “especially during current times, e-learning is becoming more and more important ensuring inclusiveness in higher education and ensuring the continuous learning of all students. Jordan needs the appropriate infrastructure to deliver consistent high-quality digital education. However, key to providing quality digital education are well-trained and engaged university staff. Therefore, GIZ would like to stress the importance of not only equipping studios for producing digital content but also training university staff to secure that all university students benefit from the services.”
The partnership is fully aligned with the national policies and strategies such as the National Strategy for Human Resource Development (2016-2025) and the National Strategic Plan on Higher Education (2019-2021) with the goal of enhancing learning innovation at higher education institutions.