Entitled “Public expenditure on education in Latin America: Can it serve the purpose of the Paris OER Declaration”, the paper was originally written in Spanish by Amalia Toledo Hernández in collaboration with Carolina Botero and Luisa Guzmán. It seeks to identify and analyze the investment and expenditure policies reported by five Latin American governments for developing and procuring school textbooks, as well as digital content for primary and secondary school.
Education is the pillar that underlies countries’ social and economic development. It is a right recognized by the major international human rights instruments, as well as by the national constitutions and laws of the five countries analyzed in this report: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Although these countries have taken positive steps towards meeting their international obligations, they still have to make efforts in order to fully meet all international standards, goals and expectations related to Open Educational Resources (OER).
Unfortunately, in many Latin American countries digital technology is not a coherent part of education systems. Despite efforts to promote the educational use of information technology in the region, emphasis has been placed on issues related to enrollment. For this reason, the effective use of technologies for education requires further development to benefit educational delivery to its full potential.
During the last decade, there has been a rapid advancement in technologies that make it extremely easy for people to create and share materials. However, the need to ensure the appropriate respect of existing copyright laws has remained a challenge. The development of open licensing and Open Educational Resources (OER) helps address this gap by changing and questioning the current paradigm. The Paris OER Declaration, adopted at the UNESCO World OER Congress in 2012, defines OER as any educational resources, teaching, learning or research material that is in the public domain or published with an open license that allows it to be used, adapted and distributed free of charge. The Paris OER Declaration also encourages the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
This policy paper aims to offer concrete inputs for a public debate towards intelligible and comprehensive inclusion of OER in educational systems of Latin American countries.
The meeting in Kigali included a discussion on the development of openly licensed teacher training materials to be available as open educational resources (OER), in order to support effective teacher training for integration of ICT in classrooms in Rwanda.
In line with the ICT in Education Policy Paper, it is foreseen that the outcomes of this workshop would support the development of an OER-based curriculum for in-service training to ensure that capacity building courses are tailored to local needs to use ICT for quality teaching and learning.
The objectives of the new curriculum will be the following:
- aligning the ICT CFT to support the Rwanda ICT in Education Policy;
- defining the objectives of teacher training materials to support the use of the ICT CFT; and
- outlining the process for the development of OER to support training materials.
Participants in the meeting included representatives of the Rwanda Education Board, the University of Rwanda teacher training institutions, as well as the British Council, and non-governmental organizations. Participants noted the importance of the workshop, especially in order to use the ICT Competency Framework for developing teacher training programmes that are in line with national policies and strategies.
This activity is a direct follow-up to the implementation of the Paris OER Declaration that was adopted in June 2012 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. It is also part of UNESCO’s continued efforts of promoting the application of ICT to enhance the quality of and access to education, including the stimulation of production, sharing and access to open educational resources (OER).
The findings, on topics which relate to UNESCO’s mandate, will feed into a comprehensive Internet-related study mandated by UNESCO’s 195 Member States through Resolution 52 of the Organization’s 37th General Conference Resolution in November 2013. The questions and design of the study have been elaborated through a five-month multi-stakeholder consultation process with civil society, academia, the private sector, the technical community, inter-governmental organizations and UNESCO’s Member States. In addition to written submissions from a range of stakeholders, consultation events were held in a dozen global fora, including the World Press Freedom Day International Conference, the Stockholm Internet Freedom Forum, the Freedom Online Coalition Meeting, and the WSIS+10 High Level Review Event.
“Now we will ask several hundred stakeholders from around the world for inputs to the comprehensive study,” said Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Getachew Engida. “We also invite submissions from anyone with contributions to make.”
Contributions can be submitted through an open online questionnaire or made at the many conferences where UNESCO organizes consultation events. Such events include the upcoming 9th Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, the International Association for Media and Communication Research in Hyderabad and the Global Internet Governance for Academia Network GigaNet conference. The updated concept note, fact sheet and list of questions, and more information are available at www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy.
The framework for the study, proposed by UNESCO’s Secretariat, is informed by its concept of “Internet Universality”, which summarizes UNESCO’s positions on the Internet and highlights four R-O-A-M principles: (i) that the Internet should be human Rights-based (ii) “Open”, (iii) “Accessible to all”, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder participation.
Quick link to the online questionnaire: http://unesco-ci.org/cmscore/content/questions-unescos-comprehensive-study-internet-related-issues
More information: www.unesco.org/new/internetstudy
Comments and questions to Internetstudy(at)unesco.org
Twitter hashtag: #netstudy
UNESCO launches the second series of training workshops for security forces in Tunisia on freedom of expression and safety of journalists
Forty-five security forces members were trained on human rights, freedom of expression principles and safety of journalism during three workshops held in Tunis between May and June 2014. Moreover, a training of trainers (ToT) workshop was carried out for twelve security forces officers in order for these officers to have the skills to train their colleagues.
The series of workshops also included the participation of four journalists, in order to allow for dialogue between journalists and the members of the security forces on freedom of expression and safety of journalists questions. “We need to defuse the existing tension between security forces and journalists in Tunisia,” said a participant of the workshop.
Finally, the training workshops provided the possibility to raise awareness among security forces of the role of journalists in a democratic transition. One participant said that “We [police] have a role to play in the democratic process and we have an impact on the daily life of citizens. Thanks to the training, I realized to what extent journalists contribute to stabilizing democratic transition and have an influence on our daily life as well”.
Further workshops on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists will be conducted in the autumn 2014 in the regions outside the capital.
This activity received support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Tunisia.
The training attracted participation of 29 participants comprising of 17 men and 12 women. Among the participants, 15 came from community radio stations – Sauti FM, Mwanedu FM, Mugambo Jwetu FM, Mang’elete FM, Sahara Radio FM and Gulf Radio – and 14 came from humanitarian practitioners – Kenya Red Cross Society, UNICEF Kenya, Kenya Meteorological Service, Concern World Wide, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government - Kenya, Kenya Meteorological Service, Plan International, World Vision, and CARE International Kenya.
The training objectives included; skills development for better engagement in ‘Lifeline programmes’ and better understanding of the role of the media and the humanitarian sectors in the Kenyan Disaster Risk Reduction plan. Lifeline communication training is part of BBC Media Action's humanitarian communication preparedness work that seeks to strengthen the ability of media and aid agencies to meet the communication needs of people affected by crises.
During the training, the trainers used hands-on training, group exercises, role play, practical exercises and interactive sessions, with an emphasis on scenario-based activities to enable participants simulate application of the principles in real crisis situations. This was aimed at enabling participants to adapt and apply the principles in developing lifeline communication programmes.
Mr. Fredrick Mariwa, Radio Manager of Sauti FM Station Manager stated that “The training was insightful and practical and it came at the right time when there are indications that there might be possible humanitarian crises to be caused by drought and flooding’s in the country. I am glad I participated in the training and the knowledge that I have acquired will help me to properly produce programmes and report on humanitarian crisis and their effects to Sauti FMs audiences in Siaya County.”
Ms. Sophie Sangalia Mshila, a reporter at Mwanedu FM stated that “This training was very important to me as a reporter since it has enabled me acquire the right knowledge and skills to produce and report objectively about and during humanitarian disasters/crisis. I am now capable of sourcing for the right factual information, package it, and report it through the radio to the local community."
Another participant, Mr. George Mwamodo, Mwanedu FM Station Manager states that “This training was very well thought training, informative, educative and fun. There’s need to have more trainings on Lifeline Communications for reporters and editors and this should incorporate field work at their various stations.”
In order to reinforce learning at the training, reporters were trained to produce local content of interest to communities and in the process save lives, reduce human suffering, strengthen relief efforts and empower communities to help themselves during and after humanitarian disasters. Reporters produced disaster scenarios in response to ‘potential floods’, followed by preparation of a 10 minutes magazine program and a series of lifeline bulletins to provide their respective communities with practical and useful information to use during humanitarian crises.
This training is part of UNESCOs on-going capacity building initiatives under SIDA funded project “Empowering Community Radios with ICTs” in Kenya.
UN to discuss UNESCO report on press freedom, role of free media in the post-2015 development agenda
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and H.E. Mr Mårten Grunditz, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations will open the session.
Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University in the City of New York and a noted First Amendment scholar, will present a keynote address. Bollinger recently established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Information Project, an initiative joining international experts and activists with the university’s faculty and students.
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development offers a new look at recent evolutions in media freedom, independence, pluralism and safety. These areas are explored at the international level and with respect to gender and global media.
The report was launched in March 2014 in Stockholm by UNESCO’s Director General. Six regional overviews were released in May 2014 as an online companion to the global report.
The publication comes at a critical moment for press freedom amid unprecedented opportunities for expression of new voices as well as new forms of restriction, surveillance and control.
The launch and conference at the UN is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Wednesday in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.
The event will be streamed live at http://webtv.un.org/ and tweeted with the hashtags #mediatrends and #pressfreedom.
Following the opening addresses, a panel discussion will be moderated by Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists Joel Simon with the participation of:
- Karin Karlekar, Project director of Freedom of the Press, Freedom House
- Veni Markovski, Vice President - Global Stakeholder Engagement, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
- Raza Rumi, public policy specialist and noted writer and editor of several Pakistan media
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development was produced with support from the Government of Sweden.
In order to address and include persons with disabilities in new and on-going development efforts, it is necessary to identify the current challenges in this area, including better understanding of the numbers of individuals living with a disability and their specific needs. The expert group will also discuss how new and open technological solutions could improve the depth and accuracy of big data collection, specifically with respect to persons with disabilities, and how to engage different stakeholders in efforts towards sustainable development post-2015.
The expected outcome of this collective discussion and analysis is the formulation of a policy brief that will provide an informed overview of the current status of disability statistics and formulate recommendations to improve data collection so as to encourage the implementation of evidence-based policy-making. Additionally, the meeting will contribute towards the implementation of the outcome document of the General Assembly High Level Meeting on Disability and Development held on 23 September 2013, which underscored the need for accurate data on disability.
This expert group meeting entitled “Disability Data and Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation: The Way Forward in the Disability-Inclusive Development Agenda Towards 2015” is co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Division for Social Policy and Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
Réunion d’experts à Varsovie pour élaborer une recommandation sur la préservation du patrimoine documentaire
Le principal objectif de cette consultation collective d’experts était d’établir une base solide pour l’élaboration du projet de cet instrument normatif, le premier du genre, qui devrait être adopté lors de la prochaine session de la Conférence générale en novembre 2015.
Lors de la séance d’ouverture, les participants ont été accueillis par Mme Małgorzata Omilanowska, ministre de la Culture et du Patrimoine national de Pologne, M. Sławomir Ratajski, secrétaire général de la Commission polonaise pour l’UNESCO, et M. Władysław Stępniak, directeur général des Archives nationales. Dans son discours, la ministre a réaffirmé son soutien aux efforts de l’UNESCO pour préserver de manière efficace le patrimoine documentaire mondial et a souligné le rôle de l’histoire dans la compréhension approfondie qu’a la Pologne du besoin d’une meilleure protection et promotion de ses archives et de ses enregistrements et de soutien aux programmes spécifiques de numérisation, de préservation et d’accessibilité de son patrimoine culturel et documentaire, d’une grande richesse.
Au nom du directeur général de l’UNESCO, M. Boyan Radoykov, chef de section au sein de la Division des sociétés du savoir, a exprimé la profonde reconnaissance de l’UNESCO au gouvernement polonais pour son indéfectible engagement depuis longtemps dans les activités de l’organisation dans l’un des axes les plus importants de son mandat, à savoir la préservation et l’accessibilité du patrimoine documentaire. Il a également souligné le caractère particulier de cette réunion, la signification historique du lancement d’une telle initiative d’importance mondiale.
Trente-neuf experts venant du monde entier ont pris part à cette réunion, chacun apportant son concours dans son domaine de compétence. Les discussions ont eu lieu dans une atmosphère dynamique, bien organisée et engageante qui a favorisé une meilleure compréhension des problèmes et des défis à relever. La réunion a finalisé avec succès ses travaux avec la formulation de propositions concrètes pour les principaux piliers du futur instrument de normalisation ainsi des propositions spécifiques pour chacun des piliers. L’idée-force des propositions des experts est que le patrimoine documentaire mondial appartient à tous et qu’il doit être intégralement préservé et protégé, compte étant dûment tenu des spécificités et pratiques culturelles qui s'y rattachent, et devrait être accessible à tous sans aucun obstacle.
Le rapport préliminaire du directeur général, ainsi que la première version de la recommandation, seront officiellement envoyés à tous les Etats membres de l’UNESCO en septembre 2014, qui pourront alors faire part de leurs commentaires et de leurs remarques.
La durée du contrat est de septembre 2014 à mars 2015.
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