US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new partnership to promote the use and sharing of OER in the Arab World. The US Department of State, the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizaiton (ALSECO), and their partners, including the OCW Consortium, will collaboratively work to “deliver the benefits of open education to more people and more places.” (Secretary Clinton’s full remarks and video of the announcement can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2013/01/203382.htm)
From the US Department of State Fact Sheet:
An initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and leading education innovators to expand access to free, high-quality education materials in Arabic, with a focus on science and technology. These resources will be released under open licenses that allow free use, sharing, and adaptation to local context. Offering access to these resources will help to create educational opportunity, further scientific learning, and foster economic growth.
The initiative will:
- Support the creation of Arabic-language Open Educational Resources (OERs) and the translation of existing OERs into Arabic.
- Disseminate the resources free of charge through our partners and their platforms.
- Offer training and support to governments, educators, and students to put existing resources to use and develop their own.
- Raise Awareness of the potential of open educational resources and promote uptake of online learning materials.
The first meeting of the partners took place following the announcement, during which all parties expressed their commitment to working in full partnership to realize the above goals. It was stressed that the multi-directional sharing of resources is key to the project’s success, and that support for the creation and sharing of resources in Arabic, developed in the Arabic speaking world, and translated into other languages will be an important outcome. The partners will meet again in March to further develop activities and approaches.