UNESCO-ICHEI attends the Education in The New Reality Webinar for ThailandSeptember 23, 2020
On September 14, 2020, the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI) was invited to attend the Thailand Webinar: Education in The New Reality hosted by Tencent. Programme specialist Hassan Adeel Shehzad and programme officer Bingran Zeng attended the meeting and delivered speeches. This seminar aims to provide regulators, government ministries, and professionals in the education, IT, and digital communications sectors with the technology and intelligence in navigating this complex education sector presented by COVID-19. 67 participants from related ministries, government agencies, and universities in Thailand attended the seminar.
Krittee Manoleehagul, managing director of Tencent Thailand, opened the floor with an introduction to Tencent Thailand and shared his perspective on the local education landscape; afterward, Jingwei Sun, a senior manager from Tencent Education, talked about “Online Learning Continuity Plan, AI for Smart Education” as well as some case studies sharing. Satita Suntiwaranon, a senior officer from Ministry of Education, said: ” I am interested to know more about Tencent solutions and more specifically, the topic Online Learning Continuity Planning. I would like to set up a meeting with Tencent Thailand to talk more about this.”
As representatives of UNESCO, programme specialist Hassan Adeel Shehzad and programme officer Bingran Zeng gave a presentation on the “Supportive Ecosystem for Higher Education under the New Normal: Empowering Teachers for Sustainable Digital Drive”, introducing UNESCO’s responses to fight COVID-19 through digital innovation and transformation, UNESCO-ICHEI’s mission and functions, and the measures taken by UNESCO-ICHEI to respond to the pandemic. Ms. Zeng suggested “As Thailand propels into Thailand 4.0, transitioning into a knowledge economy, its industries and employers will require more highly skilled workers in emerging ICT, such as cloud computing, data science, and artificial intelligence. Consequently, the education system, including its teachers, administrators, and staff of Thailand also need to change accordingly, by revising their curriculum, adopting new technology in education management.” In order to create an inclusive ecosystem for the digital transformation of higher education institutions (HEIs), UNESCO-ICHEI has taken a three-prong approach to provide Smart Classroom, International Institute of Online Education (IIOE), and Capacity Building Programmes to all its partner HEIs. Hassan Adeel Shehzad observed that the pandemic has not only accelerated the development of online teaching and learning, but it has also shown the world many possibilities of how technology can be used to reach a wider pool of learners, across national borders, socioeconomic status, and ethnic groups. He added, “Teachers are also realizing the power of ICT tools in monitoring and evaluating students’ learning outcomes and integrating ICT tools in designing learning activities. Online education is not going anywhere, and it will gradually become a part of the norm.”
Titipong Pisitwuttinan, Co-founder and CEO of SkillLane Education, Co., Ltd, joined the meeting at the end and participated in a 30-minute panel discussion. In the last session of the seminar, five keynote speakers discussed the major challenges of Thailand’s education system during the pandemic, the major benefits in integrating education technology into Thailand’s education system, and the way that Tencent could support Thailand’s education system to adapt the post-COVID-19 situation, the considerations in deciding to use a certain technology and/ or platform, and the role of online learning in the future education system.