On 17th December 2018, the Korean Ministry of Education (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Yoo Eun-Hae) organized “Korea-Myanmar Educational Informatization International Forum” with an aim to promote ICT education policies and to establish a state-of-the-art ICT classroom in Myanmar.
The Korean MoE implements a project which aims to support setting up a state-of-the-art ICT classroom abroad, which is about providing smart classrooms that have laptops, smart pads and electronic boards installed, including a 5- year training for teachers, as well as corresponding teaching software. The classrooms have been set up in 17 countries to date.
Against this backdrop, the forum is an event which presents exemplary cases of smart classes and conducts panel discussions in order to support policy-developing capacities in countries outside Korea.
The Forum was attended by His Excellency Myo Thein gyi, Minister of Education of Myanmar, and Kim Suk, Director of the E-learning Division of the Korean Ministry of Education, as well as delegates from countries where smart classes have been under operation, including Laos, Peru, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.
In order to share education informatization policies and exemplary cases of smart classes, panel discussions like “Innovative Classes and Change in the Educational Field” and “Myanmar’s ICT Education Innovation Policy Direction” were held.
First, participants from six countries shared examples of the “State-of-the-art ICT Exemplary Case” and explained the changes that the Korean-type smart classrooms had brought in their countries.
Ozodjon Haydarov, Director of the Ministry of Education of Uzbekistan indicated that, “After establishing an innovative classroom in Uzbekistan, we have assigned an ICT specialized school and are using the school for a joint training site for teachers.”
Thu Hoai Nguyen, a teacher of a Vietnamese innovative class said, “Vietnam’s class environment is changing at a very fast pace and the Vietnamese government is seeking to find an innovative classroom model.”
Director Kim noted, “The innovative classes might be an exemplary case for the future of class environment.”
Phouvong Aphay from Laos explained, “Once innovative classes are set up in developing countries, training classes for the maintenance of those classes should also be held. In this regard, further assistance from Korea is necessary for the maintenance of equipment.”
Vice-principal Hashika Perumbuli of a school in Sri Lanka which has installed an innovative classroom noted, “Numerous developing countries have difficulties in figuring out their level of education informatization in their own countries, which is why it is difficult for them to establish national policies.” He also mentioned that Korea’s consulting service in policy establishment would be very helpful.
All participants agreed on the fact that education faces a new trend, which is using informative communication technologies, and that the future of education should be prepared by introducing a conducive and innovative classroom environment.
On the next day of the forum, 18th of December, there was an opening ceremony at B.E.H.S. No. 2 Dagon in the Yanggon district.
In smart classes in Myanmar, there are touch-screen interactive blackboards and podiums for teachers, 50 laptops and 50 smart pads, as well as educational software for creating video content and lecture mirroring, etc. These tools were also presented at the forum as part of the exemplary classes.
* Mirroring is a tablet PC technology that synchronizes the screens at the students’ desks to be reflected on the teacher’s electronic blackboard for interactive teaching and learning purposes.
The principal of the Dagon school, who participated in this day’s event, noted, “Students are going to receive lessons not only on computers but on all subjects in the innovative classroom.”
Director Kim Suk explained, “We will focus on improving capacities training every year until the year 2022, so that not only the teachers of Dagon schools, but also schools from districts nearby can use innovative tools.”
In fact, a 3-day training class will be held from 19th to 21st of December, in which 40 Myanmar teachers are going to learn about basic software like Power Point and Spreadsheets. In addition, a teacher’s learning community will be formed, so that teachers can train themselves on scratching or coding.
Director-General Choi Eun-Ok of the Lifelong Future Education Division of the Korean Ministry of Education noted, “I hope that the Dagon school will become an exemplary school for innovative classes in Myanmar and that it can become a leading school that can present a direction for ICT education policy.” She added, “I hope that the experience of Korea in the field of ICT education will meet the expectations of the international society, so that the Korean education model can be implemented further in developing countries.”