The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is working with its Western Asia division to support e-learning in Iraq. UNESCO and UNESCWA (United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia) are developing training courses and online resources to help drive improvements in the country's education system. The project has been labelled 'ICT for Education in Iraq'.
As much of the world is now looking at ICT skills as being almost as fundamental as literacy and numeracy, Iraq is receiving help to try and bring it back to being a leading light in the region in regards to education. Two decades of war and political upheaval have seen the country fall behind many of its neighbours in the Middle East, with schools being ill-equipped in terms of information communication technology and IT literate teaching staff.
The Ministry of Education is now working with these UN organisations to establish a project with the core aims of:
- Organisation priorities and strategy with a focus on ICT in education
- Give Iraq's MoE the capacity to deliver an effective ICT curriculum and assessment programme
- Modernise the learning environment within Iraqi schools with focus on ICT infrastructure
The project has started with MoE staff, giving them the ICT literacy required to then filter e-learning and technical skills throughout the education system in Iraq. Iraqi MoE staff have been visiting other countries in the region to learn from their best practice in ICT.
They have now been bringing this knowledge to Iraq, starting with the development of e-learning resources for the core subjects of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. In order to support the Kurdish population, e-learning packages have been developed in 'Arabic for Non-Arabic Speaking Iraqis'.
With this focused programme for development through technology, e-learning looks set to be a key driver for the current generation of Iraqi students.