Training for Mongolian teachers co-organized by UNESCO and Open University of China

The Training for the Institute of Teachers’ Professional Development of Mongolia (ITPD) took place starting on 17 -18 November 2020. The training workshop was co-organized by UNESCO Beijing Office and the Open University of China (OUC), within the framework of the MOU that was signed between UNESCO and the Open University of China in May 2020 to focus on Open and Distance Learning (ODL).

The capacity-building workshop in distance education is aligned with the global priorities of UNESCO and within the framework of the global coalition on COVID-19 response to support countries in building on-line learning systems to ensure that learning continues during COVID-19 Pandemic and emergencies.

More than 1.5 billion students and youth across the planet are or have been affected by school and university closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the outbreak of the pandemic, UNESCO mobilized a global coalition of public and private stakeholders to provide technical support to countries in distance education and on-line learning platforms.

This training workshop is one of the vivid practice of the collaboration realized jointly by UNESCO, the Open University of China, the Ministry of Education and Science of Mongolia, the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the Institute of Teachers’ Professional Development of Mongolia. It is critically timely and important to bring in the technical expertise from the Open University of China to strengthen the capacity of Mongolian institutions in providing quality online and distance education, at the time the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge in Mongolia.

A total of 20 education managers, teachers and officials participated in the training workshop. Mr. Robert Parua, Programme Specialist of Education of UNESCO Beijing Office gave opening remarks at the opening session of the workshop. He acknowledged the efficient organization of the training workshop within a short period of time, which will be a contribution to strengthen the resilience of the education system in Mongolia.

Ms. Nomindari, Methodist in charge of server security and e-learning from ITPD provided an overview of ITPD and introduced the on-going work modules that ITPD implemented in Mongolia. After the outbreak of COVID-19, ITPD has been providing TV lessons and on-line classes at all levels from ECD to secondary level since Feb 2020 in close coordination with the Mongolia Ministry of Education and Science. ITPD welcomes the emergency support that generously offered by the Open University of China, and facilitated and supported by UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office.

The workshop is chaired by Mr. Shi Yunzhi, Deputy Director of International Department of the Open University of China (OUC). OUC is outstanding with its quality education resources and advanced information and communication technologies. It has been playing an important role in promoting education equity and lifelong learning in China through its expertise in open and distance education. At the workshop, the OUC experts provided training to the core teacher trainers from ITPD in practical skills and techniques in teaching in front of cameras that can be attractive and effective for their audience.

The training workshop is within the framework of the on-going UN MPTF Emergency Assistance Project implemented in Mongolia led by UN Resident Coordinator. The education component of the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Project is implemented by UNICEF, UNESCO and UNFPA. The project will strengthen the national on-line learning platform in Mongolia led by the Ministry of Education and Science. The project designated ITPD to build and coordinate the on-line learning system in close collaboration with UN Agencies and Development Partners. It aims to ensure the access to quality of education and learning during emergency for all students in Mongolia, through the development of digital learning materials, capacity strengthening of capacity and skills teachers and educators and enhanced policy framework.

This is the first partnership initiated after the signing of the MOU between UNESCO Beijing Office and the Open University of China. In addition, OUC has provided support to institutions in Africa as facilitated by UNESCO headquarters. UNESCO and OUC plan to expand the training to other countries in the Asia and Pacific region.