PCF9 to be held in Edinburgh during 9-12 September 2019


The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and The Open University (OU), United Kingdom will co-host COL’s ninth Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF9) at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland during 9 to 12 September 2019. This timing marks both the end of the OU’s 50th-anniversary celebration and COL’s 30th anniversary year.

“I am delighted that PCF9 will be held jointly with The Open University UK, which has been an inspiration to the open and distance learning community around the Commonwealth. The OU has been a pioneer in quality, research excellence and accessible learning. This Forum will promote innovations to strengthen access to quality education and lifelong learning for all. We look forward to welcoming stakeholders from around the world for a rich and productive confluence of professional, intellectual and forward-looking ideas,” said COL President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar.

OU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mary Kellett noted that “The Open University is delighted to co-host this event, bringing together our partner institutions across the Commonwealth. It promises to be an excellent forum for debate, with opportunities to consider issues of great importance to the OU, such as the global and inclusive reach of education. We look forward to welcoming friends and colleagues.”

Held every three years, the PCF is one of the world’s leading international conferences on open, distance and technology-enabled learning. It attracts over 600 delegates from across the 53 nation members of the Commonwealth and beyond. COL will present its Excellence in Distance Education Awards to individuals and institutions that have demonstrated remarkable achievements in the promotion of open learning.

The OU is the UK’s largest academic institution and a world pioneer in distance learning committed to making education open to all.

Click here to view the PCF9 website

Republished from COL

Available at: https://col.org/news/press-releases/pcf9-be-held-edinburgh-during-9-12-september-2019

Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL)


Teachers who want to learn more about teaching with technology will find this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL), informative and engaging. Using up-to-date learning design and simple, accessible technology, the course runs on an easy-to-use learning platform available via the Internet. The course is designed for teachers who want to build on their knowledge and practice in teaching and learning with technology. It will run over five weeks and requires approximately three to five hours of time each week. Designed to accommodate teachers’ busy schedules, the course offers flexibility with options for learning the content. You will learn from readings, videos, discussions with other participants and instructors, meaningful exercises, quizzes and short assignments. Certification is available for those who wish to complete all required exercises and quizzes. Read more

UNESCO commends National Institute of Education (NIE) in Sri Lanka for Open School Programme


Photo credit UNESCO. (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license under the Creative Commons

The increasing number of school dropouts in Sri Lanka is a concern. The rigid nature of the formal school system was seen to be a reason for the high dropout rate. In response, the National Institute of Education (NIE) established the Open School Programme to provide an alternative access to education to those who need a recognized basic qualification in order to further their education and find jobs.

NIE was has been commended for its Open School Program by UNESCO, as part of the 2018 Wenhui Awards. Click here to read more about the 2018 Wenhui Awards.


NIOS visits Japan for International Teachers Exchange Programme


A five-member delegation from National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) headed by Dr. A.S.Bahal, Director, Vocational Education visited Japan for an Invitation Programme for teachers from India from 7th to 14th October 2018. The other members of the delegation were Dr. A.K. Singh, Deputy Director, Capacity Building Cell & Regional Director, Ranchi, Ms.Tarun, Assistant Director (Academic), Regional Centre, Chandigarh, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Nayak, Academic Officer, Mathematics and Ms.Anshul Kharbanda, Academic Officer, Accountancy and Coordinator External Relations.

The Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) has been organizing international educational exchange programmes for teachers between Japan and Korea, China, Thailand, and India since 2001. As for International Exchange Programme between Japan and India, “Invitation Programme for Teachers from India’’ has started in 2016 in close cooperation with Ministry of Human Resource Development of India (MHRD), Centre for Environment Education (CEE) and Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT). This year ACCU organized the 3rd programme inviting 15 teachers and other educational personnel from India for 8 days from 7th to 14th October 2018.

Objectives of the programme:
• Provide opportunities to Indian Teachers to visit Schools and other Educational and Cultural Institutions of Japan to facilitate the exchange between them and teachers and students

• Deepen understanding the school education system of each country between teachers of India and Japan

• Enable the teachers from India and Japan to disseminate their learning

• Foster sustainable international exchange after the programme to contribute to friendship and mutual understanding between India & Japan.


Click here to read the trip report by Anshul Kharbanda.

Please see photos from the event below. Photo credit NIOS.


International Day for Disaster Reduction

Secretary-General Ant—nio Guterres Walks through the local relief effort in Sabiya and meets with local authorities and community members during a multi-sector distribution Scenario: The delegation is received by Cassius Darroux, Minister for Kalinago Affairs, Charles Williams, Chief of Kalinago Territory, and Sylvanie Burton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who made a brief presentation about the socio-economic impact of Hurricane Maria in Kalinago Territory. The delegation interacts with the Jolly John Hamlet Development Committee in charge of organizing the local relief effort. The delegation will interact with the community during a multi-sector distribution (food, NFIs) at a walking distance from the landing site. Activities will include: Blanket distribution of three-day emergency food ration (Government/WFP) Psychosocial recreational activities for children (UNICEF) Blanket distribution of solar lamps and targeted distribution of kitchen and hygiene kits for affected populations with completely destroyed houses (IOM) Access to safe water and hygiene promotion (WHO/PAHO & UNICEF) Health surveillance and provision of medical kits and medicines (WHO/PAHO)

“We have had great success in reducing the number of lives lost to disasters, thanks to early warning systems, preparedness, and more efficient evacuations. Now we must focus on reducing human suffering and the number of people affected.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

International Day of the Girl Child


EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises

“Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.” UNESCO

World Teachers’ Day


“World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda, it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.” UNESCO

World Teachers’ Day 2018


Video: President’s Message for World Teachers’ Day 2018

World Teachers’ Day 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) that recognizes education as a key fundamental right and establishes an entitlement to free compulsory education, ensuring inclusive and equitable access for all children.

This year’s theme, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher,” has been chosen to remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers. Even today, a continuing challenge worldwide is the shortage of teachers. There are an estimated 264 million children and youth still out of school globally. To reach the 2030 Education Goals of universal primary and secondary education, the world needs to recruit almost 69 million new teachers. This ‘teacher gap’ is more pronounced among vulnerable populations, such as girls, children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children, or poor children living in rural or remote areas.

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. It is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labour Organization, and Education International.

(Source: UNESCO, 2018)

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NIOS Workshop on Gender Green Teacher (GGT) Programme


The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) organised a workshop on the Gender Green Teacher (GGT) Programme, a project of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

The Green Teacher programme, developed with the support of COL, offers teachers an opportunity to empower themselves with the requisite knowledge and skills for the effective transaction of concepts in environment and sustainable development while counseling the NIOS learners.

Workshop for conducting need analysis, critical analysis/cost-benefit analysis and preparing the project proposal for the Gender Green Teacher (GGT) Programme was held from 18th to 20th September 2018 at NIOS Headquarters.

NIOS Personal Contact Programme (PCP) tutors, learners, experts from the fields of gender and environment, and officials of the Academic and Vocational department participated in the programme.

13th International Conference on ICT for Education, Training & Skills Development


“Over 12 consecutive years, eLearning Africa has hosted 16,228 participants from 100+ countries around the world, with over 85% coming from the African continent. More than 3,300 speakers have addressed the conference about every aspect of technology supported learning and skills development.

The PROGRAMME includes core dialogues, debates, discovery demos, knowledge exchange sessions, knowledge factories, networking meet-ups, panel talks, plenary sessions and poster presentations on specific topics and informal networking opportunities in which practitioners share their experiences, ideas, new information and perspectives.” eLearning Africa

International Day of Peace


The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. ” United Nations


Post Graduate Diploma in Open School Operation and Management


The mainstream schools in most developing countries are faced with challenges which include overcrowded classrooms, lack of quality learning resources and a shortage of teachers. The traditional mainstream schools in these countries can hardly cope with those who are already in school and have no or little capacity to provide access to the millions of out of school youths. Open schooling is an innovative approach to widen access to education to address the challenge of out of school youth.

As more and more countries are opting for open schooling, there is a requirement to ensure that those involved in open schooling are well trained for the task. A new Graduate Diploma in Open Schooling was developed by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to prepare administrators, support staff, faculty, and ministry professionals guiding the implementation and management of open school policies and regulations to effectively plan and manage the day-to-day operations of an open school using a variety of delivery technologies and pedagogical methods.

The Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) is the first to offer this Post Graduate Diploma in Open School Operation and Management online. This is a two-year programme and registration is open from September 4-October 31, 2018. Further details of the programme can be found below.


Click here to download the PDF version of the programme details.