Sestri Levante (I), April 2008 - More than one hundred teachers and trainers involved in 'eLearning for teachers and trainers in the MEDA region', an important European initiative in eLearning for North African and Middle East countries, have taken part in an international training event hosted by Giunti Labs.
The initiative, which is part of the wider regional project MEDA ETE (Education and Training for Employment), aims at enhancing the use of ICT for teaching and learning and promoting their further integration into the overall Vocational and Educational Training (VET) reform processes in the countries.
Around 150 trainers from the ten MEDA countries learn via blended learning, both online, through an eLearning open source portal (Moodle), and in classroom with cycles of face-to-face meetings in each participating country to support the participants' learning paths. This important regional training was the first regional classroom-based training meeting organised under the project. For the first time, this event brought together all the teachers of the MEDA region who are attending the course.
The event took place in the Annunziata Convent in the Bay of Silence (Baia del Silenzio), in Sestri Levante - the headquarters of Giunti Labs, one of the world's leading providers of learning and knowledge content management solutions, which is leading the design, development, and delivery of the eLearning programme in the MEDA ETE project.
ETE (Education and Training for Employment) is an ambitious project that has been introduced within the framework of the Euro - Mediterranean Partnership. It is being implemented within the -˜Barcelona process' - a wide framework of political, economic, and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean.
The ETE project has identified education and training as the main tools to facilitate the economic and social development of the North African and Middle East Mediterranean region. Its effort focuses on vocational education and teacher training as ideal drivers of change to help the economic and social development of the MEDA region, in order to make the markets of those emerging areas more competitive.
The MEDA ETE regional project, which lasts for three years, is financed by the European Commission with a € 5m budget. It is being implemented by the ETF (European Training Foundation), an EU agency that supports the development of education and training systems in its partner countries.
Acting on behalf of the European Union, ETF supports these countries in the development of individuals' ability and knowledge in order to improve living conditions and provide an active community and democratic society that respects human rights and cultural diversity.
The eLearning component of the regional MEDA ETE project aims to help the countries of the MEDA region (Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco) to further develop and strengthen teachers' and trainers' professional qualifications. This is done through the increasing use of eLearning solutions and services and aims to train around 150 teachers of public and private institutes throughout the ten countries of the region in the use of new technologies for online teaching and training.
The eLearning initiative is unique as it is tailor made to the needs of specific target groups. In addition, using new learning technologies enhances the participants' knowledge and skills. The participants can use these skills in their own working context, improving their professional performance. The collaborative learning approach ensures the sharing of knowledge and experience in their own country as well as at the regional level.
Giunti Labs is responsible for the development of the eLearning component of the MEDA project. It has scheduled the planning and implementation of an eLearning course lasting 192 hours on the technologies of distance training and which supports teachers in the MEDA countries with interventions in class directly through its network of experts.