UNESCO Bangkok holds Regional Conference on “Transforming Teacher Development” in the Philippines

On 15-17 October 2019, UNESCO Bangkok, with the support of the Korean Funds-in-Trust and Japan Funds-in-Trust, organized the Regional Conference on Transforming Teacher Development at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Philippines to explore ways to effectively implement and integrate ICT Competency Standards for Teachers (ICT-CST) within selected countries’ overall teacher professional development (TPD) structures.

Key education stakeholders from eight countries namely, Nepal, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Philippines were gathered together with representatives from local coordination bodies, advisory committee members, international and local experts, project evaluator, project management team, UNESCO Field Offices and selected National Commissions for UNESCO. Deputy Executive Director Lindsay Barrientos and Programme Officer Rex Ubac Jr. represented the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM).

Prior to this event, the Philippines, through the cooperation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Department of Education (DepEd) and the UNACOM (with the support of the Korean Funds-in-Trust and Japan Funds-in-Trust), has completed a series of national workshops that targeted different stages of policy intervention to develop ICT-CST. Moreover, teacher professional development module and competency assessment guidelines were developed.

During the Conference, the resource persons discussed areas that were requested by the project countries such as the: a) creative and innovative ICT-supported pedagogical approach; b) improving the quality of teacher training; c) whole-school approach to ICT integration; and d) validation and monitoring of competency standards.

On the last day, the Philippine delegation, composed of representatives from CHED, PNU, DepEd, and UNACOM, presented the following key reflections: a) ICT-pedagogy integration is good if its transforms classroom practices and impacts positively on students’ learning; b) ICT integration should lead to knowledge acquisition, deepening and creation; c) ICT integration if modeled, recognized and incentivized could become part of the pedagogical habits of teachers.

In the end, the following Conference goals were accomplished:

  1. Evaluation of the current ICT-CST project implementation with the project Countries;
  2. Updating of overall project implementation, achievements, and challenges;
  3. Consolidation of feedback and recommendations on the project to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of project implementation;
  4. Exchange of knowledge and good practices on facilitating competency-based ICT-related teacher professional development (TPD);
  5. Exchange of countries’ good practices and various research findings to support effective TPD implementation;
  6. Discussion on challenges and solutions on issues faced; Presentation of strategies for the next steps for ICT-CST implementation in the respective countries, within and outside the project scope; and
  7. Submission of enhanced project design and workplan for country-level implementation.