CAIRO: Egypt and UNESCO recently launched a capacity building initiative for students, teachers and citizens.
The Information and communication Technology Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) was launched by UNESCO’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, during his visit to Egypt on Tuesday.
As part of its efforts to build knowledge societies through capacity building, UNESCO launched the global initiative in partnership with the Egyptian Ministries of Communication and Information Technology, Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research.
“This global initiative offers a global network of content using state-of-the-art tools. It aims at increasing the skills of teachers and content availability which empowers educators, said Matsuura during the launch in Smart Village on Tuesday.
The event also saw the launch of the regional initiative to build an Arab E-Courseware Digital Library.
Both initiatives fall under UNESCO’s umbrella of “Towards an Arab Knowledge Society, which was hailed by Minister of Education Yousri El-Gamal, who said it will contribute to reforming the education system in Egypt.
“This is not the first time the three ministries work together, said Hani Helal, minister of higher education and scientific research.
“UNESCO’s efforts in Egypt are not confined to culture but also includes education, science and communication, he added.
Helal explained that they have a reform plan for higher education in Egypt which “includes and uses information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-learning.
Tarek Kamel, minister of communication and information technology, said that Egypt sets an example in the region by using ICT in education reform, citing Deputy Minister Hoda Barakat, who was awarded the 2008 UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education last January.
The UNESCO Cairo office will lead the efforts both regionally and globally of both initiatives.
“The main objectives of the ICT-CFT initiative include constituting a common core skills matrix, and providing a basic set of qualifications, said Tarek Shawki, director of UNESCO’s Cairo office.
ICT-CFT is a technology-rich professional development initiative that can help prepare teachers for the pivotal role they will play in developing 21st century citizens.
On the other hand, the Arab E-Courseware Digital Library will include the Arab world in UNESCO’s World Courseware Digital Library. It includes state-of-the-art digital content development technologies and distribution channels to build a global, multi-lingual courseware library to enhance the integration of modern ICT in knowledge acquisition and sharing worldwide.
International private partners in the initiatives include Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Karim Ramadan, general manager of Microsoft Egypt, noted that “Egypt must be known for beginning successful public-private partnerships.