Keeping young people in school longer and improving teacher quality are two top challenges facing educators in Yemen today. Leaders from public and private sectors as well as members of the international donor community and the Ministry of Education met recently to focus on ways to propel Yemen’s education system forward through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The summit was convened by the Ministry and EDC.
“Leaders here are trying to figure out how best to use technology to achieve their educational goals,” explains Robert Spielvogel, EDC’s Chief Technology Officer and an advisor to the work.
In the spirit of partnership, local leaders from Yemeni industry joined with representatives from a variety of international donor agencies, including the World Bank and GTZ, for the two-day summit.
Presenters showcased a variety of technologies in action, emphasizing their potential to improve teacher performance and student outcomes. Demonstrations ranged from low-tech interactive radio instruction (IRI), where third-graders and their teacher enacted an IRI lesson, to the latest in handheld technology.
At the end of the summit, participants formed a steering committee to take the work forward, pledging to develop a national ICT plan for Yemen in collaboration with leaders from the Ministry of Education, international donors, and the private sector.
The summit was a culminating event for EDC, which has worked with local partners over the last four years to introduce technology in Yemeni schools and prepare teachers to use it effectively.
Originally published on April 30, 2007