Due to the need for alternative ways of working and learning brought about by effects of the coronavirus pandemic, many schools and universities have adopted blended learning across the globe. Blended learning which is a system of education that uses a mix of both in-person and online learning.

The embeddedness of blended learning into the education system has many advantages among which enhancing communication and digital skills to both teachers and students, providing easy access and flexibility, reducing cost, and mainly contributing to slowing transmission of the coronavirus by limiting contact between individuals.

In Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Iraq, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, are working closely to integrate blended learning into the teaching methods used by Iraqi higher education institutions and universities. The UNDP Accelerator Lab in Iraq is sensing and exploring the current teaching methods used in Iraqi universities in order to and create a roadmap for embedding blended learning teaching methods in the education system.

The sensing and exploring the journey of the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Iraq started with conducting a sequence of meetings with government officials, public and private universities, UN agencies, capacity building institutions and continuous education centers. As a result, the UNDP Iraq Accelerator Lab and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR)has launched a blended learning initiative that aims to:

  • Innovatively establish the fundamental groundwork for designing blended learning curriculum for teaching methods and embed online tools within the university education system.

  • Support teachers in gaining blended skills.

  • Scale-up the blended learning approach to other higher education institutions. The aim, in the future, is to follow a blended learning approach with graduates to build their capacities online.

In order to achieve the above stated goals, the UNDP-Accelerator Lab and MoHESR establish a committee of experts to design blended learning curriculum for Continuous Learning Centers inside Iraqi universities all over Iraq.

The “Blended Learning Initiative” will lead to producing the Teaching Methods Curriculum and it will also document all the learnings, insights, achievements and recommendations in order to share knowledge and better equip future endeavors to expand blended learning in Iraq.

The UNDP Iraq Accelerator Lab seeks to encourage innovation on the ground and respond to the coronavirus pandemic by empowering society to foster resiliency and evolve when faced with change. 

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