A new public-private partnership in Yemen, led by EDC, provides educators teaching math and science with skills and materials to prepare their students for the 21st century. The project is helping the country’s educators learn how to integrate technology into the classroom and provide them with digital learning resources that fit the Yemeni curriculum.
“In the past, when people talked about technology, it was about how to use a computer. Instead, our project is about how information and communication technology can be used to teach math and science,” says EDC’s Helen Boyle.
Called INTALEQ (Innovations in Technology-Assisted Learning for Educational Quality), the one-year project is working in 20 high schools across Yemen, including both boys’ and girls’ schools. INTALEQ, which means to launch in Arabic, will adapt and disseminate new digital classroom materials and provide professional development to educators. While the focus is on 10th-grade math and science, the hope is that teachers will apply what they learn in teaching students in other classes.
“We are training teachers in a more holistic manner, with a focus on making instruction student-centered and hands-on,” says Boyle. “The digital materials are the vehicle to get teachers interested and to get students interacting with the material, instead of passively listening.”
The project is working with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to create an educational portal, where teachers can view the newly developed digital materials, as well as post their own lesson plans. The INTALEQ digital materials are being adapted from the Intel skoool.com program.
“Few high-quality digital educational materials have been produced in Arabic. Intel had already created materials for Saudi Arabia; we are helping the Yemeni government adapt these existing resources to Yemen and will ultimately help teachers and the MOE to produce their own materials,” says Boyle.
Professional development sessions will be delivered locally to accommodate the needs of female teachers who face cultural restraints in traveling unaccompanied away from home. EDC will be holding professional development events in two cities in the north of Yemen (Sana’a and Ta’iz) and two in the south (Aden and Mukalla).
Partnership for the future
INTALEQ is a partnership involving both U.S. and Yemeni public and private sectors. According to Boyle, interest in joining the public and private sectors to advance shared goals is growing in Yemen. “The Ministry of Education and the private sector have begun to see the project is a way to pull together the public-private sectors and leverage the resources,” says Boyle.
“I am sure that INTALEQ will bring about positive change in teaching math and the sciences and will have an excellent impact on students’ achievements in these subjects,” says Dr. Abdulsalem Al Joufi, Yemen’s Minister of Education.
For businesses in the private sector, INTALEQ is working to meet one of their key needs: employees who are already equipped with the necessary skills. “The project is building students’ 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communicating—all skills that can be enhanced by using a computer,” says Boyle.
INTALEQ builds upon the work of two previous EDC projects in Yemen: Internet for Yemeni High Schools and the Yemen Instructional Leadership and Supervision Initiative. The current project is funded in part by USAID Yemen through USAID’s Global Development Alliance (GDA). Through GDA, USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) provides funding to be matched by the private sector in order to launch a project. In addition, the following groups provide support for INTALEQ: the Haile Saeed Group, the Al Awn Foundation, Intel, Curriki, the Yemeni Ministry of Education, and the Yemeni Ministry of Communication.
Originally published on April 17, 2009