STEM teachers’ workshop in Solomon Islands

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD) organized a workshop focused on addressing the urgent need to prepare students for a future driven by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) campus in the Solomon Islands.

The event, held in Honiara on March 7-8, 2024, brought together 90 STEM teachers to build their capacity in open educational resources (OER). The blended workshop, which had a two-day in-person component, exemplified a structured and impactful approach to enhancing educational practices through the integration of open resources and was designed to empower STEM educators with the tools and understanding necessary to effectively incorporate OER into their teaching methodologies.

The workshop kicked off with a comprehensive presentation on the concept of OER, emphasizing its significance in advancing STEM education. Educators engaged in discussions about the transformative potential of OER, which can make high-quality educational materials accessible and enhance STEM pedagogy. The benefits highlighted included cost savings, increased access to diverse content, and the adaptability of resources to meet local educational needs.

The activity is designed to equip teachers with the necessary skills to integrate OER into their pedagogy, thereby improving the quality of the lessons they teach. Participants engaged in practical exercises to increase their understanding and familiarity with OER, including searching for, accessing, co-creating, and contributing OER relevant to the national curriculum.

This workshop is part of a larger five-year project funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) to enhance the efficiency of the education sector in Pacific countries. COL Education Specialist, Dr Betty Ogange, facilitated the workshop, along with Dr Rajni Chand, Director of PACFOLD as well as USP’s Centre for Flexible Learning, was a co-facilitator of the event.