From 18 to 20 December 2017, Indonesia organised its first national policy forum on open online learning for adult learning and education. This sizable meeting gathered nearly 150 participants from the education sector and education policy making from in and outside the country.
The meeting listened to 15 insightful presentations on open online learning and experience sharing in conducting online courses. The birth of Web 2.0 and subsequently Web 3.0 has brought online learning to a higher level where direct two-way communication course providers and learner-learner interaction are possible on the webpage. Cloud-based contents and online assessment have made it possible for courses to be available anytime, anywhere.
SEAMEO CELLL representatives addressed the meeting in the opening session and delivered a presentation in the plenary session on the role of open online learning as a key promoter of lifelong learning in this digital age. The presentation emphasised that online learning is the trend of education as it opened up multiple opportunities for learners to access resources, including video lectures, and to form learning groups where newly-learnt knowledge is shared and discussed.
Besides, as part of its role in the regional project Towards a Lifelong Learning Agenda in Southeast Asian Countries, which the centre initiated, and in fulfilling its commitment towards UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in the project, SEAMEO CELLL carried out monitoring task during the meeting.
The three-day policy forum concluded with a concrete set of recommendations to be submitted to Indonesia Ministry of Education and Culture for policy making in the following year. They will also be sent to UNESCO Jakarta for support. The meeting also agreed that once the recommendations are reflected in the national education policies, provincial and district policy makers will adapt them to local contexts in ways that comply with the national guidelines while best facilitating the specific learning and education context in each area.
The policy forum also witnessed the inspiring inauguration ceremony of 3,000 non-formal education teachers who successfully completed online courses offered by the Centre for Development of Early Childhood Education and Community Education, West Java Province (Jayagiri Centre).
Indonesia policy forum was one in a chain of fora of the kind in Southeast Asian countries conducted within the framework of the said regional project. Previously, two others had been conducted in Lao PDR (August 2017) and Cambodia (November 2017). UIL and SEAMEO CELLL are expecting four others to take place in Vietnam, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and the Philippines early next year.
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