Beirut, 17 April 2020 - Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States - Beirut has stepped up efforts to provide a response to the crisis and reduce its negative impacts on the education sector. In fact, the spread of the COVID-19 virus has led to the closure of schools and universities across the world and in the Arab region, and to the disruption of formal education systems and services, which has affected a large number of learners and teachers. While many countries have adopted alternative education methods (distance learning, especially online learning), lack of available infrastructure and adequate capacities, as well as inequalities in countries’ access to the internet, place additional pressure on learners, parents, educators and other stakeholders.
Against this backdrop, and in the context of UNESCO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States - Beirut launched today a regional webinar on Multigrade and Flexible Learning. The webinar is a Training of Trainers (ToT) aimed to build the capacities of teachers’ trainers in multigrade and flexible learning, and to support trainers in helping teachers adapt their curricula and teaching methods to distance learning, in order to ensure that learning never stops, and to guarantee the quality of education despite the current crisis.
In this context, Dr Hegazi Idris, UNESCO Beirut’s Programme Specialist for Basic Education, noted that: “Since the beginning of the COVID -19 crisis and the launch of the UNESCO Global Coalition for Education, we have been working to reduce the negative effects of the COVID pandemic on the education sector. Through this regional webinar, we strive to build the skills and capacities of teacher trainers and to support them help teachers in adapting the teaching process to distance/remote learning". He added: “This training is based on a pack on “Catch-up programmes and Multigrade learning and teaching” produced by UNESCO Beirut with generous support from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief)”.
The training, prepared and presented by Dr. Reda Hijazi, covers a large range of topics, including: the current state of students’ enrollment, the standards of multigrade classes, characteristics of adult education, basic skills of the trainer - training methods, the philosophy and strategies of active learning, learner-based assessment.
A large group of trainers from Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, and Libya takes part in this two-day webinar.
It is worth nothing that this training comes in the context of a set of activities organized by UNESCO Beirut to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the education sector. Among these activities, the Office produced a set of flyers in both Arabic and English providing parents and teachers with tips on how to support and motivate learners during remote learning. These resources are accessible via the following link: https://en.unesco.org/news/resources-parents-and-teachers-motivating-supporting-children-during-remote-learning