Iraq: Ongoing trade union training to provide quality remote education
The Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) has moved forward with its programme aiming to equip educators with the necessary skills to use new teaching methods related to new technologies and remote teaching and learning.
In January, KTU held two training sessions in the framework of this programme organised in cooperation with Education International.
From 1-3 January, 27 teachers from the KTU Sulaymaniyah branch participated in the training. And, from 8-10 January, an additional 22 teachers from the KTU branch near Mosul were trained.
“We are confronted by many issues following the Coronavirus pandemic, which led to the complete closure of education centres, so that we have had to extensively resort to e-learning,” explained KTU President Abdalwahed M. Haje. “For this reason, the focus during these two sessions aimed at ensuring that the participating teachers gain sufficient skills and experience to use electronic devices and appropriate new teaching methods; so that they can provide students with the necessary information for their education, and engage in meaningful dialogue with them, receiving their questions, and being capable of answering them via remote teaching and learning.”
During the sessions, extensive discussions took place concerning the importance of e-learning. Participants felt that more training sessions are needed with longer training periods for educators to get proper and useful experience as remote education is a new challenge for the majority of Kurdistan’s teachers.
They also stressed that distance teaching and learning should not become a substitute for presential education in classrooms, but rather be a parallel opportunity used when absolutely necessary, especially as:
- Most teachers, students, and parents have little experience in this field
- A majority of families are not well off – the poverty rate in Iraq is approximately 22 per cent
- Internet connections are unstable nationwide and not available in villages and the countryside
- Electrical power is intermittent, and only available for a few hours per day