Follow Us:

EVIDENCE FOR ACTION

Citizen-led learning assessments enable educators, parents and volunteers to close learning gaps in rural India

A Sustainable Approach to Empower Teachers with ICT-Pedagogy Integration in Myanmar Classrooms

The UNESCO project team adopts a sustainable approach to transfer ICT-pedagogy integration knowledge to a dedicated team from the Department of Basic Education, who supports further knowledge transfer to teachers in project schools. Students are then exposed to the use of ICT in classrooms. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

 

Approximately 21,000 Grades 8 to 11 students, half of whom are considered to be marginalized girls in Myanmar, show their great interest in learning via tablets in classrooms. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

 

The new Myanmar’s academic year saw teachers of 31 project schools in rural or semi-urban areas, for the first time, started using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for mobile learning, after their participation in a series of UNESCO’s ICT-pedagogy integration training in the previous months.

Gains in teachers’ confidence and ICT skills have been significant.

Daw Yaung War Lin, Life Skills teacher of Basic Education High School (BEHS) Pyuntasa 1 in Bago Region, Myanmar, is one of the many trained teachers who have overcome the fear of using new technology as teaching aids and prepared themselves to try the new technology in improving teaching in Myanmar classrooms.

Before receiving the ICT-pedagogy integration training, Daw Yaung War Lin had never learnt ICT. During the first basic ICT training in December 2015, many teachers had difficulty in typing and controlling the mouse. Daw Yaung War Lin shared, “At the beginning of the training, I felt frustrated because I was not able to follow closely what the trainers taught us. In the training, we were given assignments every night. I tried my best to complete the assignments and I realized on the next day that I did not save my work. With the guidance of the trainers, I managed to do the assignments again and then I caught up faster.”

After only half a year, teachers created presentation files with graphics and videos to teach subjects such as Mathematics, Life Skills and Myanmar. English teachers started using a tailor-made mobile digital learning application to teach English. Students showed their great interest in learning via ICT.

“I am now feeling more comfortable in teaching my class using ICT. I have customized a number of presentation files as teaching aids to arouse students’ interest in learning Life Skills,” said Daw Yaung War Lin.

The project that Daw Yaung War Lin is involved is the first-of-its-kind UNESCO’s ICT for Education project in Myanmar, as part of the Connect To Learn initiative in Myanmar launched by Ericsson, the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and other project partners including UNESCO to promote mobile technology for learning and to serve as another important milestone for the Ministry of Education in the education reform process in Myanmar. The project has so far provided 3,100 tablets, 186 teacher laptops, over 270 instructional training hours directly to 22 Department of Basic Education team (DBE) members, 31 school leaders and 155 teachers in Mandalay Region, Bago Region and Mon State. Trained teachers have been and will continue transferring their knowledge to other teachers in the 31 basic education high schools in Myanmar.

A number of other partners are involved in the implementation of this Connect To Learn project in Myanmar. These partners include DFID providing project funding under the Girls’ Education Challenge, Ericsson being a donor and overall programme and technology lead and Earth Institute at Columbia University managing the student stipend and school grants programme as well as conducting implementation research at the schools. Finja Five, an innovative start-up at Lund University in Sweden, provides child-friendly computing solutions while EduEval Educational Consultancy conducts monitoring and evaluation. Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ also provides funding and project management.  Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) is supporting network roll-out and provides SIM cards for the schools.

The project also receives support from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Myanmar.

Trained teachers have been and will continue transferring their knowledge to other teachers in the 31 basic education high schools in Myanmar. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

U Khin Mg Kyaw, Assistant Director of DBE, implements this ICT for Education project closely with UNESCO. He is amazed to see teachers using ICT such as tablets, laptops and projectors to improve teaching in the classrooms. “Teachers are diving into the ICT field not only for teaching in the classroom but also they can learn by themselves for their improvement on ICT knowledge and skills.”

Trained teachers started using ICT including tablets and a context-specific mobile digital learning application to teach English. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

UNESCO’s ICT for Education Programme Officer U Htain Lynn Aung said, “Based on my experience in the ICT for Education field, ICT has been applied at the university level and in some multimedia classrooms in urban high schools. It is encouraging to see the progress that has been made by the trained teachers in the rural or semi-urban basic education high schools of the project. The project mobilizes the wider use of ICT in teaching various subjects in high schools. I believe this kind of practice will develop classroom environment conducive to learning and promote e-education system in Myanmar.”

WATCH: Significant Changes to Teaching via ICT

UNESCO’s ICT for Education Programme Assistant Daw Nwe Ni Win has been supporting project implementation. She is from a village in Mon State, where some of the project schools are located. She shares her experience in and observations on the significant changes to teaching via ICT under this project in the following video:

Teachers are the key to ICT being used to improve student learning. UNESCO has been delivering professional development on ICT-pedagogy integration throughout the project. Taking the country context into account, UNESCO implements the project to support the existing system to ensure its sustainability. UNESCO is working closely with DBE to train a dedicated team, comprising educators from Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay Region, Bago Region and Mon State with expertise in ICT, English, Mathematics, Life Skills and Myanmar.

UNESCO supports different levels within the existing system of the Ministry of Education to ensure the sustainability of the project.

“DBE provides excellent support to implement the project. The dedicated team has been trained to lead the project from the Government side so that the team can be prepared to provide continual support to school leaders and teachers in the project schools and to facilitate the possible scaling up of the project in the future. Sustainability of the project has been emphasized since the beginning of the project,” said by UNESCO’s ICT for Education Expert Antony Tam.

The dedicated team from the Department of Basic Education has been trained to provide continual support to school leaders and teachers in the project schools and to facilitate the possible scaling up of the project in the future. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

In addition to providing teachers with ICT-pedagogy integration training, UNESCO conducted training to school leaders to support them to build visions and formulate plans to help teachers succeed in ICT in teaching in the longer term. UNESCO’s ICT for Education Expert Diana Gross said, “There is more to do than simply saying, here is your tablet, now go and teach your students. Teachers need to know that they are not alone. DBE and UNESCO are there to support them. School leaders have a very important role that they must create systems to manage all of the ICT devices and support the teachers by providing encouragement and time for ongoing training.”

Other than teachers, school leaders receive ICT-pedagogy integration training so that they understand the effective use of ICT in teaching and are able to support teachers to succeed in ICT in teaching in the longer term. ©UNESCO/A. Tam

The ICT-pedagogy integration training by UNESCO is designed to support teachers to gradually adopt ICT in teaching through four stages, namely emerging, applying, infusing and transforming. At each stage, corresponding training sessions are tailor-made by UNESCO to train teachers on topics such as basic ICT literacy, ICT integration for teaching and learning, pedagogical use of ICT for active learning. With this step-by-step approach, teachers are able to gain knowledge and practise the effective use of ICT to facilitate learning in a more active way. Additional training and experience sharing conference will be organized in the coming months to provide further support and to give recognition to teachers on successful use of ICT in teaching.

Apart from the teacher professional development component, UNESCO is implementing the other two main components which focus on utilizing mobile broadband technology to provide students with English language programme and Life Skills programme, including the development and delivery of context-specific applications and learning content in English and Life Skills.

For more information on this ICT for Education project, please contact Mr. Antony Tam, ICT for Education Expert of UNESCO Yangon, at kh.tam@unesco.org and U Htain Lynn Aung, ICT for Education Programme Officer of UNESCO Yangon, at hl.aung@unesco.org.

 

INTERESTING FACTS:

 

RELATED LINKS:

ICT for Education Project in Myanmar well received at the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris

UNESCO’s basic ICT training benefitting educators in Myanmar

UNESCO partners with Ericsson to launch an ICT for education project in Myanmar

Connect To Learn

Girls’ Education Challenge