Supporting Vision 2035 of Djibouti: UNESCO-ICHEI facilitated country’s very first Weidong Smart Classroom project at University of Djibouti to strengthen higher education system for achieving SDG4March 10, 2020
On January 26, 2020, Hassan A Shehzad, CTO of IT and Enterprise Partnership Office, International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI), and Wu Yingzhi (伍应志), Overseas Project Manager of Smart Classroom, Weidong Cloud Education Group (Weidong) arrived in Djibouti city of Republic of Djibouti – in the Horn of Africa, to deploy the country’s first-ever Smart Classroom (SCR) at University of Djibouti (UoD) and to conduct multiple rounds of technical trainings for university’s IT staff and operational trainings for teachers, besides meeting with university’s president, leaders and management teams from various faculties to discuss strengthening the cooperation between all entities – SUSTech, UoD, Weidong and UNESCO-ICHEI – during 2-week of project execution.
The University of Djibouti (called ‘Université de Djibouti’ locally) is a public university in Djibouti City, the capital of Republic of Djibouti. The university was established on 7 January 2006 by Decree and it grew out of the University Centre of Djibouti. In 2008, the university had 2,500 students. The student body reaches more than 7,000 in 2015. Currently, The University of Djibouti has five faculties and two institutes; Faculty of Law, Economics and Management (FDEG), Faculty of Science (FS), Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences (FLLSH), Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Engineering. The 2 institutes are; Technical Institute of Industry (IUT-I) and Technical Institute of Tertiary Services.
In a spirit of openness to the outside and in the framework of regional and international cooperation, a productive meeting with Dr. Djama Mohamed Hassan, President of University of Djibouti, was convened at President’s office. Points on Smart Classroom’s future plans, collaboration with ICHEI and SUSTech, IIOE and opening ceremony were discussed. A message of thankfulness and best regards on behalf of Director LI Ming was conveyed too, besides presenting the gift from UNESCO-ICHEI and SUSTech. UNESCO-ICHEI assured that hand in hand with Dr. Djama Mohamed Hassan, President of the University of Djibouti, will not only further strengthen the ongoing collaboration in higher education innovation field but will also deepen our existing cooperation between People’s Republic of China and République de Djibouti.
The evident hint of strong interest in higher education innovation at national level in Djibouti, H.E. Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Minister for Higher Education and Research in Djibouti, headed the official delegation from ministry and Dr. Djama Mohamed Hassan, President of the University of Djibouti, led the faculty members to witness Smart Classroom settings and potential. Thorough presentation about ICHEI’s programmes and projects, Shenzhen city, SUSTech and especially about Weidong Smart Classroom was given to H.E. The Minister and all audience. H.E. The Minister was so thrilled and glad by the presentation by mentioning clearly that he would like to visit Shenzhen, SUSTech and ICHEI in the future.
Dr. Djama was very enthusiast that Weidong Smart Classroom facility has completed and transfer of technical knowledge has accomplished by extensive trainings to technicians. This is aligned with the mission to strengthen national higher education landscape and to promote technical and vocational training for public, para-public and private service personnel in scientific and educational research and production. During the discussion and demo of devices, ICHEI’s brochures in French language were also distributed to the delegations.
A quality training, in line with international standards for university’s faculties and staff, is essential for preparing tomorrow’s leaders for the challenges of the future. Thus requested to visit and experience the facility, training for teachers and admin staff of University of Djibouti was conducted, where operations of Smart Classroom hardware devices and software applications were explained and demonstrated. Most of the attendees were faculty members. It was explained how to record and edit the educational resources, and how built-in LMS can be assistance during the lectures. In the end, all participants were invited to test Smart Classroom facility, followed by QnA about devices and IIOE. The training was mix of English and French languages.
UNESCO-ICHEI is also committed to promote ‘Teacher Professional Development’ by leading capacity-building trainings for teachers and technical trainers to enhance their ICT skills for quality higher education. UNESCO-ICHEI envisions University of Djibouti as a research university especially in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Logistics in providing excellence in teaching, research and innovation by attracting talent not only from the country but also from the region.
Official social media account of University of Djibouti shared the visit of H.E. The Minister of Higher Education and Research, Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed to Weidong Smart Classroom facility. The news was circulated around by multiple users.
UNESCO-ICHEI is also devoted to build a network of regional, multidisciplinary and multilingual universities with practices of ICT’s innovations in higher education systems to transform the country and the region. After successfully completing the implementation and rigorous training sessions of Weidong Smart Classroom at University of Djibouti in Djibouti city, Djibouti, Hassan Shehzad (UNESCO-ICHEI) and Wu Yingzhi (Weidong) travelled to Cambodia to commence the deployment of fourth Weidong Smart Classroom in the world facilitated by UNESCO-ICHEI, supported by SUSTech and donated by Weidong at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Phnom Penh, Cambodia.