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Next Gen empowers teacher education institutions


A series of workshops have been organized by UNESCO Bangkok to increase the capacity of teacher education institutions (TEIs) in the Asia-Pacific region to give TEI graduates better training.

The mission is crystal clear.

The Next Generation of Teachers’ Project, or Next Gen, wants to increase the capacity of TEIs in the Asia-Pacific region to better prepare its graduates: the next generation of teachers and educators. This is already being done by:

a) Enhancing the leadership in TEIs through the Deans’ Forum;

b) Updating the skills of teacher educators through the ICT-pedagogy integration workshops; and

c) Catalyzing curriculum reform in pre-service teacher education through curriculum development workshops.

Next Gen Phase 2
After a brief period of transition, the project’s second phase of implementation kicked off with the 4th Deans Forum in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2009. The network of Next Gen TEIs expanded with a record attendance of 51 participants, representing 43 TEIs from 14 countries, at the Asia-Pacific forum. Two forum highlights were the commitment of the Deans to organize local initiatives to promote ICT in teacher education and UNESCO Bangkok’s announcement to deliver a series of curriculum development workshops between 2009-2011.

Curriculum Development Invades Mongolia
The First Curriculum Development Workshop was held in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, between 31 August-04 September 2009. Twenty-one participants from three universities (Mongolian State University of Education, Mongolian National University and Mongolian University of Science and Technology) worked intensively for five days. They mapped out their country’s curriculum development needs and staged hands-on exercises to develop new initiatives integrating ICT. One week is usually not enough time to reform a curriculum, but Mongolia managed to identify its next generation of curriculum teachers and curriculum developers within this short time frame.

Digital Bangladesh 2021
There is no better time to promote ICT in Bangladesh than now. The government is giving its full support to all initiatives that can help realize its national goal – attain Digital Bangladesh in 2021. Presently, UNESCO Bangkok is involved in formulating the ICT in Education Master Plan for Bangladesh. There is also a plan to showcase model primary and secondary schools equipped with the right number of equipment and with properly trained teaching/support personnel. More recently, (between 12-15 October 2009) Next Gen delivered a National Training Workshop for Teacher Educators and Master Teachers on ICT-Pedagogy Integration, in Dhaka. The key to this workshop was the selection of participants who can train other teachers. Feedback from participants at the end of the workshop was very complimentary.

Philippines Set a Good Example to Other Next Gen TEIs
Typhoon or no typhoon – five Next Gen TEIs from the Philippines (University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, Mariano Marcos State University, Cebu Normal University and University of the East) organized the First Philippine Conference on ICT in Teacher Education between 26-30 October 2009. The event was conceived when the main organizers met during the 4th Deans’ Forum and four months later, they were able to demonstrate their commitment to Next Gen. With more than 140 participants in attendance, the organizers are keen to make this an annual event, with the added support of UNESCO and Next Gen.

Next Gen Workshops pending
The next Curriculum Development Workshop will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 14-18 December 2009. The University of Sains Malaysia is also hosting a three-day ICT-Pedagogy Integration Workshops for Teachers in Penang, Malaysia between 14-16 January 2010, and the 5th Deans’ Forum is scheduled, subject to talks, to take place in China.

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