Huawei held a live webinar for online higher education to help ensure continuous online education during the suspension of schools and universities. The webinar, as a special part of Huawei’s Learn ON Program, was jointly organized by Huawei and its partners including UNESCO IITE and UNESCO-ICHEI. Leaders and experts from global enterprises and universities were invited to share their practice and challenges in online education during the COVID-19 crisis. They also discussed feasible solutions that can ensure both education continuity and online education quality when schools and universities are closed.
More than 1.5 billion students around the world are affected by the educational institution closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To mitigate the immediate impact, UNESCO launched the Global Education Coalition, in which international organizations, civil society, and enterprises are engaged to ensure that #LearningNeverStops. As one of the Coalition members, Huawei has been dedicated to bringing the benefits of technology to everyone. It developed TECH4ALL, a long-term, digital inclusion initiative for using technology for good, and the accessibility of quality education is one of the important focuses of TECH4ALL. In response to UNESCO’s invitation, Huawei launched the Learn ON Program with global partners, using innovative ICT technologies to make good education accessible for various groups in different areas during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are delighted to work with Huawei, the tech giant and member of UNESCO COVID-19 Global Education Coalition, on the Webinar for “Online Higher Education during COVID-19” , as well as other projects. ” said Zhan Tao, Director of UNESCO IITE. He continued: “As an integral part of UNESCO, IITE is working closely with partners across the globe under the initiative ‘Combat COVID-19: Keep Learning Together, We Are on the Move! ‘. Integral to the initiative is sharing experience, best practices, and resources to ensure that our collective efforts are effective and reach as far and wide as possible. Let’s continue working together to support millions of students, teachers and parents in needs with passion, innovation and collective strength.” “During the crisis, Huawei will provide funds, open platforms, and free, high-quality education resources. We will also carry out multiple activities, including teaching, examination, training, communication, and resource development. By fully supporting the operations of Huawei ICT Academies worldwide and promoting online learning, we aim to minimize learning disruption for students at home.” said Bradd Feng, Director of Huawei’s Talent Ecosystem Development Dept.
During the sharing session, Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director for the Bureau of Education in Africa, UNESCO, Xu Xiaofei, Vice President of Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Liu Shubo, Deputy Dean of School of Computer Science, Wuhan University, Samuel Kinuthia from Zetech University of Kenya, Weng Kai from School of Computer Science of Zhejiang University, Zhao Jianhua, Senior Expert of UNESCO-ICHEI as well as other experts from global higher educational institutions introduced their experience in developing online education schemes, organizing online learning, providing suggestions on mental health management for students and teachers, and using HUAWEI CLOUD WeLink in online teaching during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to the special teaching methods, these experts also shared the challenges they had faced with and corresponding solutions. Svetlana Knyazeva, Expert of UNESCO IITE, suggested that universities, enterprises, and educational organizations should open up learning resources, and produce and share MOOCs to help more educational institutions with online education. Finally, Wu Lintuo, Director of Education Partnership, Talent Ecosystem Development Dept. Huawei, introduced an all-round solution to the new requirements of global Huawei Academies during COVID-19. The following actions will be taken:
l A total of US$5 million Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF) will be provided to partner colleges for activities such as online course, online training, and online experiment.
l More than 130 MOOC resources will be opened up, covering advanced technical fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT).
l More than 100 online Train the Trainer (TTT) will be provided from April to December, and more than 1500 teachers are expected to be trained.
l 50,000 students are expected to be trained through online self-learning, courses, and classes.
Education disruption due to the crisis might further widen the educational gaps between regions and countries and aggravate the digital divide. To solve this problem, distance online education is one of the important and effective measures. Smooth communication platforms, appropriate teaching resources, as well as prompt, convenient supporting services will all serve as the key to large-scale online education. Huawei is willing to continuously share online education experience with universities and education organizations. It will increase investment, enhance digital resource construction, and promote education digitalization to ensure the accessibility of high-quality education.