A benchmark study detecting gaps and needs about teaching methodologies has been conducted in 5 Kurdish universities

In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, students enrolled in public elementary schools are educated by elementary school teachers; 90% of them are graduated from colleges of Basic Education of the HEIs in Kurdistan. Therefore, the Basic Education colleges in Kurdistan are the main providers of the primary government school teachers in the region. So, to raise the standard of the governmental schooling system, the first step is to raise the quality of graduates from the Basic Education Colleges in Kurdish universities. 

This is the overarching goal of TeachersMOD project, Future Elementary School Teachers Modernization in Kurdistan, a Capacity Building project funded by the EU, which is indeed to support the modernisation and enhancement of the quality of teaching in Kurdish universities, by innovating teaching methodologies, by reviewing curricula and by reinforcing the competences of university staff. 

In this context, Partners conducted a Benchmark study aimed to investigate the needs and the gaps about teaching methodologies and curricula of Basic Education colleges in Kurdish universities, collecting data about both the practices in use in Europe as well as in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The process was guided by the University of Halabja and UNIMED. The benchmark was conducted launching two different surveys, one addressed to the KRG institutions and the other one designed for the European partners, from Mid-March to Mid-April: more than 130 answers have been gathered from the 5 Kurdish HEIs partners of TeachersMOD, among professors, administrative staff, and students.

The results of the two surveys and the data analysis have been the core of the discussion and reflections during the Consultative workshop held at the University of Halabja on April 13, 2023. On that occasion, key staff from the Basic Education colleges in the Kurdish HEIs gathered, with  the objective to discuss and share practices and challenges regarding the needs and priorities in teaching, with the ultimate goal of producing two main results: a Report on the state of the art on teaching methodologies and curricula in the basic education colleges at the HEIs in Kurdistan and a specific document focused on needs, namely, a Needs Assessment Report

The Reports represent an important milestone to set the basis of the future project activities, as they constitute a detailed knowledge base outlining the context of the action, good practices as well as shortcomings, gaps and needs of each institution, and suggestions for the future. The Reports have the potential, along with the other foreseen tasks, to guide the Partners in the next months, to reach the key objectives of the project.

This study will serve as the basis for the curricula review and learning outcomes definition, through the definition of an Action Plan on behalf of the Kurdish universities partners of the project, with the main objective of rebuilding and modernizing the quality of the academic offer in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the enhancement of the capacities of the academic staff and educators on new teaching methodologies. 

The study will be presented during the Mid-Term Project  meeting and Stakeholder event hosted at the University of Zakho on 24-26 October 2023. On that occasion, Partners will advance in the definition of the Action Plan and will take the occasion of the open event with stakeholders to widen the discussion on how to improve Basic Education colleges.

Following the Zakho Stakeholder event, more than 50 members from academic and administrative team from the 5 KRG universities will participate in three field visits in the European Partner universities, in Pavia, in Granada and UTAD universities, where they will learn from their EU peers and colleagues innovative teaching and learning methods: this will be the core of the capacity building action of the project.

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