SANA'A, YEMEN | March 12, 2007
Leaders from the Ministries of Education and Communication, the international donor community, and the private sector in Yemen will gather at the Looking Forward Summit in Sana’a, Yemen, March 14th and 15th. Participants will explore how ICT applications such as multimedia CD-ROMs, digital video, radio, computers, and the Internet can introduce and sustain new opportunities for improved teaching and learning in Yemeni schools.
Presented by Yemeni Prime Minister Mr. Abdulkader Ba-Jammal and organized by the Yemen Ministry of Education with support form the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), the Looking Forward Summit is an opportunity to examine appropriate and sustainable options for Yemeni students and educators.
“This summit is one step forward toward building effective mechanisms to develop teaching and learning processes and contribute to improved quality of education. The ICT is an effective approach to communicating information and building life skills for students, teachers and school administrators. It will also contribute to raising girls’ enrollment rates in education.” said Mr. Jameel Al Khalidi, Deputy Minister for Curriculum and Supervision of the Yemeni Ministry of Education.
The first day of the summit will showcase innovative ICT applications and how they can support improved education in Yemen. Examples will include:
- a virtual frog dissection
- a visit to the NASA Hubble telescope site
- a live demonstration of a Yemeni teacher and students participating in an Interactive Radio Instruction program
Other presentations will explore the potential of handheld devices to expand the reach and quality of in-service teacher education programs, and the use of video conferencing in training activities.
On the second day, participants will discuss how to integrate ICTs into the educational system, exploring how the private sector, donor community and government can work together to put ICT applications and strategies into practice. They will present a concrete set of recommendations that take into consideration Yemen’s unique context.
The impetus for the summit were two projects funded by USAID and MEPI and implemented by EDC in partnership with the Yemeni Ministry of Education:
- The Internet for Yemeni High Schools Project (IYHS) piloted a program to train over 800 high school teachers in Sana’a and Aden to integrate computers and the Internet into their instruction and to use the Internet as a source of professional support. Teachers connected with teachers in other countries and took online courses to enhance their knowledge of education.
- The Instructional Leadership and Supervision Initiative (ILSI) is an ambitious, two-year initiative to build the capacity of the Yemeni Ministry of Education’s in-service teacher training programs in four governorates (Sana’a, Aden, Ibb and Ma’rib). Its goal is to provide focused and intensive professional development to instructional leaders and supervisors. It includes training in the use of computers and the Internet to locate educational resources to inform their work and better support the Yemeni teaching force.
According to the Ministry of Education, the Summit is a starting point to enhance and expand these pilot projects with the help of the donor community and private sector.