UNESCO MGIEP (Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development) in association with Government of Andhra Pradesh conducted a High-level Policy Forum on 14th November 2018.
The distinguished group gathered to discuss the commencement of a dialogue on the development of guidelines for digital learning resources. The discussion brought together policy makers, domain experts from AI, education, neuroscience, developmental psychology, data scientists and legal experts; digital instruction designers, game designers; industry representatives from education technology companies and Ed. tech startups.
The High-level Policy Forum acted as a prelude to TECH 2018, specifically targeting policymakers. It was chaired by the former President of Kyrgyzstan and MGIEP Board Member, H.E Roza Otunbyueva. Some of the other dignitaries participating in the discussion included Madam Emmalin Pierre, Minister of HRD Grenada; Prof. Dr. Yasser Refaat Abdel Fattah Mohamed, Vice Minister of Higher Education; Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education Ghana; Shri Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Minister of HRD Government of Andhra Pradesh; Dr. J S Rajput, Representative of India to UNESCO; Mr. Dominic Marcotte, Director Quebec Bureau India; Mr. Eric Falt, UNESCO Director and Representative for India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Its key objective was to commence a collective dialogue on the development of Ed. Tech guidelines on the design and implementation of digital learning products. UNESCO MGIEP believes that with the global market set to touch two billion USD in India, and over 250 billion USD in the Asia Pacific region by 2022, it is time for some broad guidelines that countries can use for evaluating the quality and inclusiveness of digital educational content. Furthermore, with the massive influx of digital learning systems and solutions such as games, it has become extremely difficult for teachers, parents, and school leaders to assess products and monitor learning outcomes.
A new learning ecosystem is needed to prepare students to understand, critique, and positively transform the social and cultural conditions they live in to enhance well-being for all. The conference aims to adapt all efforts in this direction towards placing socio emotional skills at the centre of these new developments. Prof. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP emphasized, "The 21st century learner is a digital native, who needs to be both intellectually and emotionally resilient and it is time that our education system addresses this reality and adapts itself."
The High Level Policy Forum discussed the Vizag declaration that calls for UNESCO MGIEP to initiate a process to develop the guidelines and present them to the 2019 UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France.
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