The COVID-19 outbreak has translated into a major education crisis, causing school closure worldwide and disruption of regular education services. In the Arab region, where 13 million children and youth are already out-of-school due to conflict, an additional 100 million learners are now affected by school interruption. While many Arab countries have developed distance/remote learning solutions to ensure that learning never stops, major concerns remain as to the implications and effectiveness of distance learning modalities, and teachers’ preparedness to deliver remote teaching.
In Lebanon, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) has developed three tracks to continue delivering education: lessons through the TV, online courses, in addition to classes held in the traditional way. The first two tracks are being implemented by both MEHE and the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD).
Within the framework of its Communication and Information sector mandate, and UNESCO ICT-CFT framework for teachers using Open Education Resources (OER), UNESCO Beirut Office has kicked off its support to CERD. This support comes through a series of train of trainers online workshops (over a month period) that will focus on how to cope with the changes, in particular, how to move from traditional teaching to online teaching.
UNESCO Beirut Office will be developing expertise in this field in order to be able to provide prompt assistance and help CERD’s quick respond to current crisis. In particular, the set of training will focus on how ICT can support the curriculum, assessment strategies, pedagogy, school and class organization, administration as well ongoing professional development.
In this context, UNESCO considers it is vital to provide solid grounds for collective reflections on how to move from traditional teaching to online teaching pertaining to the containment policies put in place by various states during the pandemic.