[Image source: Pixabay]
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the unprecedented disruption of education globally threatening to reverse gains made in access to education and learning across countries. Education and learning in the Pacific have also been affected given limited access to distance learning during school closures, especially in rural and outer island locations.
As an immediate response to COVID-19, the project supports the region in two ways:
- Access to Open Educational Resources (OER) to support distance learning
- Professional development for teachers in distance learning
In March and June 2021, the short course ‘OER for Online Learning: An Introduction’ was offered as the first of several strategies to provide support to teachers. The course provided teachers with guidelines for working in new ways, using openly licensed online resources. It served as a useful foundation on which further, more in-depth learning can subsequently be built. More courses are planned throughout the year to continuously support teachers while traditional schooling remains disrupted.
A package of open educational resources (OER) has been delivered to the ministries of education across the region through an OER Collection site for teachers that has been developed to support their education needs. Teachers can access resources in the repository and use/adapt as they respond to the COVID-19 by moving to remote, blended and/or online teaching. A newly developed guide called ‘Re-versioning OER for the Pacific’ and ‘Integrating OER in Teaching’ has also been shared with the Ministries of Education which would assist teachers in making changes to OER to increase relevance and tailor to individual learning levels.