HBMeU backs OER at Unesco meet
Dubai, July 2, 2012
Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University (HBMeU) supported the formulation of the 2012 Paris Open Educational Resources (OER) Declaration, which calls on governments to support the development of OERs at a recent Unesco meet in Paris.
Dr Mansoor Al Awar, chancellor of HBMeU joined discussions about the opportunities and challenges in adopting OER in the Middle East and the Arab world during Unesco World Congress 2012.
Dr Al Awar highlighted the need for online education in the region, which will help the integration of OER in mainstream education.
On the sidelines of the Congress, several region and country-specific sessions and panel discussions were held to tackle various aspects of OER, including a discussion on the “Issues and Challenges for OER”, which saw the participation of Dr Al Awar alongside ministers from Netherlands, Belgium, and Nigeria, in addition to the President of the Open University of China.
The main focus of Dr Al Awar’s discussion revolved around the road map for the Arab World on how to move forward in OER.
Mona Al Ayoubi, Learning & Innovations Strategies, director, also attended the Congress to discuss in a technical panel how HBMeU is implementing its OER initiatives.
As the first Arab university to be a part of Unesco’s efforts to promote OER, HBMeU has played a key role in promoting OERs in the Arab world, having pioneered various high-profile initiatives such as the recent Roundtable report titled “Creating a Culture of Shared Knowledge in the Arab World: The Role of Open Educational Resources” that was supported by the world’s most distinguished scholars and practitioners in the area of e-Learning.
Dr Al Awar said: “We are pleased to contribute the formulation of the 2012 Paris OER Declaration, reaffirming our leadership in disseminating the culture of open education in the Arab world. It has always been our mission to create and spread knowledge by providing access to cost-effective education and taking advantage of the latest advances in technology and e-Learning.”
“Moreover, we strongly believe that we are taking the right step forward with the implementation of various OER initiatives to encourage the creation of open and free educational materials in the region.
“We are confident that OER will play an important role in driving innovation and helping create positive changes in education in the Arab world. HBMeU has also pioneered several OER-driven programs and has actively supported global initiatives such as the Unesco World Congress for Open Educational Resources to explore more opportunities for creating and promoting open educational resources. The university served as the voice of the Arab world during the Congress, where we presented the key findings of the Roundtable on OER that we organized in January 2012,” he added.
The Unesco World Congress for OER brought together ministers of education/human resource development, senior policy makers, expert practitioners, researchers and relevant stakeholders to discuss and share their experiences and to adopt the 2012 Paris OER Declaration.
The event, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Unesco Forum that created the term “OER”, showcased the world’s best practices in OER policies, initiatives and leading experts. – TradeArabia News Service