From Declaration to the Implementation of the Action Plan: Open Solutions for All Learners
In September 2017, the 2nd World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress concluded its work with the proclamation of the Ministerial Statement and Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017 recognizing the role of OER as a strategic opportunity to improve knowledge sharing, capacity building and universal access to quality learning and teaching resources. The 2nd World OER Congress also recognized the importance of OER to supporting the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4) on Inclusive Quality Education and the quality education that should be equitable, open, participatory and inclusive for all learners.
One of the key recommendations of the above-mentioned Action Plan stressed the importance of ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality OER (Recommendation 3). The Ljubljana Action plan stressed that OER should be accessible to all learners who are both, in formal and non-formal education contexts irrespective of age, physical ability, socio-economic status, as well as those who live in remote areas (including nomadic populations), internally displaced and refugees, in all instances under a framework that ensures gender equality. In addition, infrastructure such as electricity and connectivity and suitable devices / media to access OER remain challenges in many parts of the world, including within national contexts. For this reason, it is important that OER can be created, found, used, modified and shared in diverse contexts and media.
Support and action, in particular from governments, educational institutions – especially teacher and librarian training institutions, as well as entities responsible for quality assurance and professional associations – are particularly important for the realization of this recommendation. OER development should be embedded with the ideals of social justice. Moreover, the Action Plan provides detailed proposals for supporting the use and development of accessible and inclusive OER, as well as quality assurance mechanisms for OER.
Major objectives of the session
With the framework of the 6th International Conference on ICTs and Accessibility on 19-21 December 2017 in the Sultanate of Oman, UNESCO session entitled “From Declaration to the Implementation of the Action Plan: Open Solutions for All Learner” aims to:
• Present the Action Plan to the participants of the International Conference with a special focus on the learners with disabilities;
• Reflect on the accessibility aspects of the OER and Open Solutions as well as the necessity to integrate accessibility in education; and
• Propose implementation modalities for the suggested actions of the Action Plan.
Speakers of the session
• Dr. Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg, Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO
• Ms Nawal AlKhater, Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Information, Ministry of Education, Bahrain
• Ms Naime Zarif, Founder and Managing Director, The Fifth Corp, Turkey, Formerly Creative Commons Representative for the Arab States Region
• Mr Monsieur Adel Ben Taziri, Coordinator, Virtual University of Tunis (UVT), Tunisia and Member of the Expert Group of the Organisation International de la Francophonie for the development of the ‘Référentiel de Compéténces pour les RELs’
• COL (tbc)