The webinar for Online Higher Education brought together UNESCO experts, university professors, and experts from Huawei’s ICT academies to discuss global best practices for mitigating the impact of the pandemic on education. To create contactless online education systems for educators and students, Huawei’s Learn ON program provides high-quality resources on an open platform together with financial support to ensure education continuity.
On behalf of UNESCO IITE, Director Tao Zhan highlighted that online education and e-learning were becoming widely and urgently needed today, and the crisis had showed that not everyone was prepared for the COVID-19 unprecedented challenge. Mr. Zhan stated the world needed support from international experts in ICT in education, and the high importance should be given to the collaborative efforts with collective strength and power of technology of UNESCO organizations and its worldwide partners. Mr. Zhan also mentioned the necessity of providing special encouragement to Africa where teachers and students required support the most.
Senior National Project Officer in Education, expert of UNESCO IITE Ms. Svetlana Knyazeva suggested that universities, enterprises, and educational organizations should open up learning resources, produce and share MOOCs to help more educational institutions with online education. Ms. Knyazeva also presented the new UNESCO IITE’s Initiative “Combat COVID-19: Keep learning. Together we are on the move!” and new resources produced by UNESCO IITE in partnership with UNESCO Institutes, tech companies and respected universities.
All the participants agreed that education disruption due to the crisis might further widen the educational gaps between regions and countries and aggravate the digital divide. Therefore, distance online education is one of the important and effective measures in solving this problem. Smooth communication platforms, appropriate teaching resources, as well as prompt, convenient supporting services will all serve as the key to large-scale online education.
The full recording of the webinar in English is available here.