The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will convene a forum in Sri Lanka from 26 to 28 June to bring together Deans of Education from four Asian countries to prepare plans to integrate information and communication technologies (ICT) into teacher education.
From 26-28 June, UNESCO Bangkok, in cooperation with project partners Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT), Microsoft (initiating partner) and Cisco Systems, will convene a forum for Deans of Education from Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) from Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia and Indonesia:
In this forum, convened as part of the UNESCO the Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) project, Deans will collectively explore the challenges of integrating information and communication technologies (ICT) into teacher education and will develop plans for implementing the Next Gen project activities in their respective Teacher Education Institutes.
The forum, to be convened in Colombo, Sri Lanka, follows the Bangkok Deans’ Forum, held in May 2007, which was attended by Deans from TEIs in Lao PDR, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to Dr. Molly Lee, Co-ordinator of the Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) at UNESCO Bangkok, the first Deans Forum was a great success. UNESCO expects that the Sri Lanka forum too will likewise draw attention to the changes needed in teacher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Like the Bangkok event, the Colombo forum will provide an opportunity for Deans to discuss issues relating to the integration of ICT into teacher education and to plan institutional change. The forum will also enable the building of networks and collaboration between the various TEIs. Dr Lee added that institutional changes will contribute to UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme by encouraging new ways of thinking and behaving and by facilitating access to information that will enable the organisation to find more sustainable ways of living.