The Consultative Workshop hosted by the University of Halabja as a key project milestone: from needs analysis to training

A Consultative workshop was 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.

The workshop started with a presentation of the preliminary findings of the two WP2 surveys addressed to both European and Kurdish universities, about current teaching methodologies and curricula in Basic Education, delivered by Silvia Marchionne from UNIMED, as WP2 co-leader. Then, prof. Hedayat Muhamad Ahmad and Prof. Hoshman Ata Mahmoud, from the University of Halabja, leader of WP2, presented the the experience of their university in Basic Education: needs, gaps and challenges, in view of the definition of a Needs Assessment Report. As a complementary steps, a Roundtable was held to discuss and validate survey results, and to plan the next steps: from the needs analysis to the training activity, in the attempt to match the needs of the Kurdish universities with the teaching offer of the European Partners, each bringing to the table a specific expertise.

Among the main outcomes of the Consultative Workshop:

  • All the five departments (English language , Kurdish language , Arabic language, General Sciences, and Social Sciences) are needed in the labor market in Kurdistan and are necessary for students to become future primary school teachers.
  • A focus on Curricula and Teaching Methods is needed as well as a Department of Special Education is needed, because there are a large number of people with special needs in the Kurdistan Region who leave school because there are no graduates specialized in inclusive education.
  • Need to develop learner centered teaching and teaching based on learners’ needs.
  • Appropriate implementation of technology in the teaching process.
  • Need to prepare graduates who will be problem-solvers rather than merely equipped with theoretical knowledge, strenghtening employability of graduates and their entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Need for improved coordination between the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education.
  • Need to improve teachers’ competencies and pedagogical practice.

As a final consideration, Partners agreed that the project could lead to improved student learning outcomes, higher graduation rates, and increased student engagement and motivation; and contribute to the development of a more skilled and professional teaching workforce, which could have a positive impact on the education system as a whole.

In terms of sustainability, TeachersMOD aims to develop a model that can be replicated and scaled up over time, ensuring that the program can have a lasting impact beyond the initial implementation phase. This could be achieved through various strategies such as developing partnerships with local institutions and stakeholders, leveraging technology to enhance program delivery and monitoring, and ensuring that the program is financially sustainable over the long term. To support the sustainabiliy of the project results and engage in long-lasting relations with all the actors involved, one of the steps is the organization of a Stakeholders’ Event, foreseen in October 2023.