UNESCO Project Provides Lessons for Stakeholders to Understand Challenges in Science Education in Maldives

UNESCO marked the successful conclusion of its project aimed at capacity development in Science Education in Maldives. The project conducted under a Japanese Funds in Trust (JFIT) programme was aimed to assisting Maldives in enhancing the quality of education through capacity building of teachers and educators reinforced with in-country enhancement of training capacity through development of teacher/educator guides, preparation of teaching learning module and hands on activity kits to make science teaching and learning joyful and relevant to Maldivian situation.

A formal Closing Event of the project was organized by the Government of Maldives in association with UNESCO on 13 May 2014 at the Maldives Polytechnics Conference Hall in Male. The event was preceded by the Pre-service teacher Training Workshop held from 11 to 13 May 2014. The event marked the launch of the educational kit developed under the project as well as award of official certificate of completion of the training to participants.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and Representative UNESCO appreciated the Government of Maldives for their enthusiastic support to the project and remarked that the project will bring Maldives one step closer to their goal of achieving quality education that is not only sustainable but also faces the countries challenges regarding teacher training and provision of science education capability.

He informed about the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable development (DESD) which is ending this year and a world conference is being organized at Nagoya in Japan in November 2014 to review the progress and prepare a post Decade strategy to be rolled out in close alignment with the sustainable development goals to take the place of MDGs post 2015.

Dr. Addulla Nazeer, Minister of State for Education in his address reiterated the commitment of the Government of Maldives to such programmes which are important for preparing a workforce trained in science and technology. He requested the Japanese Ambassador present on the occasion to continue support to the project in order to sustain the momentum generated during this phase.

Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Japanese Ambassador in his address informed that the Government of Japan has created the UNESCO JFIT to promote education for sustainable development globally and science education programme being implemented in Maldives is part of the initiative. He further mentioned that the Government of Japan is committed to provide support to this kind of initiative in Maldives.

The project has been able to address the needs of in-service teacher training by organizing in service training of Maldivian National University students thus strengthening of national and local institutions through technical support.  The overall goal of the project was to bring about a qualitative improvement in education which is real-life based, relevant to the contexts of the Atolls and is learner-cantered and competence-based. Moreover, since the activities such as climate change, environment, tourism and fisheries are intimately linked to the life and livelihoods of the Maldivians and make an integral part of curriculum in the Maldives, the project resulted in improved teaching-learning of such concepts and themes.

The project was implemented in association with the Maldives National Commission for UNESCO in partnership with the Ministry of Education (National Institute of Education-NIE). Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India was also involved in the project to provide technical support to the project.

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