The Sixteenth Session of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Information and Technologies in Education (IITE) took place on 12 – 13 September 2017 in Moscow. The Governing Board meeting is one of the most important events in the Institute’s calendar that guides and oversees the Institute’s work and strategy for the future.
On the first day of the meeting, the Governing Board’s Chairperson Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (UAE), greeted IITE with the appointment of its new director Mr. Tao Zhan and with the progress achieved by the Institute. He expressed his confidence in the future positive development of IITE, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017. Dr. Al Awar also thanked the Government of the Russian Federation for its continuous support of the Institute. The Representative of the UNESCO Director-General was Ms. Anne Coupez, Chief of the Unit for Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Institute and Field Coordination at UNESCO Headquarters. She stressed on the importance of IITE’s work, which can and should expand the scope of its projects and implement more of its programmes on a global scale as an international UNESCO Category 1 Institute holding a unique expertise in the sphere of ICT in Education.
The Russian Federation was represented by Mr. Igor Ganshin, Director of International Department of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, who spoke about the collaboration between the Ministry and IITE and the increased support to IITE from the Russian Government. The members of the UNESCO IITE’s Governing Board expressed their gratitude to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for the special attention the Institute has received, as well as the financial contribution from the Russian Government, which allows IITE to realize its most important projects in the sphere of education in Russia and all over the world. Participants in the discussion were also Mr. Alexander Khoroshilov, UNESCO IITE Officer-in-Charge before 2017, and representatives of the National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Ms. Ksenya Gaverdovskaya and Mr. Nikita Shalygin.
During a number of discussions, the members of the Governing Board and other participants reviewed the Report by the Director of IITE Activities in 2016 – 2017, the Medium-Term Strategy of the Institute, the Programme Plan and Financial situation of the Institute in 2018 – 2019, as well as other issues. One of the central events of the Sixteenth Session was the adoption of the UNESCO IITE’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2018 – 2021. The Medium-Term strategy presents information about the mission of the Institute taking into account the major trends in education, the contribution of the Institute in achieving SDG4, and the main directions of the Institute’s programme activities. IITE’s vision is transforming education and achieving SDG4 with the unique power of ICT. This vision is based on the understanding that ICT have never been so dynamic in transforming education systems and vital to achieving SDG4. In line with the Education 2030 Framework for Action and the Qingdao Declaration on leveraging ICT to achieve Education 2030, IITE promotes the use of ICT in order to strengthen educational systems, knowledge dissemination and information access, quality and effective learning. The Institute promotes the use of ICT for the creation of safe, healthy, non-violent, gender-responsive, supportive and inclusive learning environments and focuses its activities and main mission on three strategic priorities: facilitating the innovative use of ICT to enhance inclusion and equity in education and lifelong learning; empowering teachers in Member States to improve the quality of education by promoting ICT-enabled pedagogies and best practices; fostering the potential of ICT for education transformation through global dialogue and networking.