Global Education Coalition
A new model
Earlier this year, teaching professionals across Western and Central Africa participated in an online challenge to design digital education modules for use in teaching in the region.
UNESCO, in collaboration with Réseau Canopé, hosted the online “Créathon” event as part of the wider Imaginecole programme, which was launched in March 2021 to strengthen the capacity of digital learning in ten targeted countries in Francophone Africa.
Hosted for the first time this year, the “Créathon” event facilitated the creation of quality educational resources which will be turned into a digital modules and hosted on the Imaginecole platform.
Following the announcement of the online in December 2021, participating teachers worked for two months, with step-by-step expert guidance via a series of online webinars, to develop pedagogical scenarios. Over 170 designs were submitted by participating teachers from Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, Chad, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire.
For Ayabavi Aubierge Glonou, a kindergarten teacher from Benin, the webinars were helpful in better understanding the design process to create digital educational modules, including animations.
“The [Créathon] experience was wonderful [and] allowed me to discover what is happening [in education] elsewhere, to know colleagues from other countries,” Glonou added.
Among the winning submissions were multimedia resources to help learners understand gendered nouns or learn about the human cardiovascular system with the help of diagrams and videos.
Another participant, Ahmadou BA, a secondary school teacher from Senegal, said that one of the main challenges in education on the African continent is the lack of contextualized resources that are adapted to the realities there. But by participating in the Créathon challenge, he felt able to contribute to the revolution of education in the region using new technologies.
“This project allowed me to explore new ways of teaching, and [hone] new pedagogical practices by producing pedagogical resources that will allow students to be actors in their own learning,” he explained. “The educational paths that will be designed thanks to these scenarios will be more motivating and will better meet the needs of students, BA added.
The winning submissions, as selected by a jury, were recognized at award ceremonies held in March in Porto-Novo, Benin, and in Diamniadio, Senegal, in April. Representatives from the respective Ministries of Education, UNESCO’s regional offices, and other education stakeholders were among those in attendance. Winners of the Créathon challenge, as well as core trainers, were also awarded laptops to facilitate their ongoing contribution of resources and expertise to the platform.
The Imaginecole initiative, headed by UNESCO, the International Organization of La Francophonie, CONFEMEN and the French Government, and with funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), aims to ensure educational continuity by building a pool of digital educational resources for primary and secondary school students. The initiative stems from a response to the education crisis due to COVID-19 and aims to strengthen the capacities and resilience of education systems in Africa.
During the first phase of the programme, the platform was developed, making accessible some 600 learning resources, including country-specific Open Educational Resources (OER). This was followed by a cascade training strategy - national technical teams and teachers were supported in getting started with the Imaginecole platform before being trained via virtual classes on digital educational resources. So far, 100 master trainers of trainers have helped reach 6,000 teachers.
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All members of the Global Coalition for Education Response to COVID-19 have also committed to an ethic of do no harm in their treatment of data related to learning. UNESCO has also encouraged them to adhere to four principals protect learner information, privacy and security