Piggs Peak-The University of Eswatini (UNESWA), the Eswatini Communication Commission (ESCCOM), the Institute of Development Education (IDE) and the Ministry of Education and Training have collaborated to participate in the flagship Certificate in Online Teaching for Educators (COTE) programme, in response to the changing needs of the country and the region.
Speaking at the occasion, the ESCCOM Director of Universal Access and Service, Mbongeni Mtshali said “the Fund has partnered with the Ministry of Education and University of Eswatini to host this Capacity Building Workshop for Special Needs Educators so that no-one is left behind as we embrace ICTs in the education sector.”
“It is not the first time that the fund supports such initiatives and we have established a strong relationship with the Ministry of Education and in the past years we have supported schools for special needs with end user devices to assist in teaching as well as full support with digitized teaching aids at the School for the Deaf. As an ICT –inclined entity, it is our wish that ICTs be adopted as teaching tools as the whole world is now digitizing. I am happy that we have amongst ourselves officials from the National Curriculum Center and we implore them to influence the digitization of teaching in schools and how content can be developed for online lessons at all levels.”
Professor Maphosa from the Institute of Development Education (IDE) explained that the COTE programme is a fully online programme that is practical oriented as students will only learn by doing and experiencing learning online.
The programme is made up of four courses namely;
- Designing and developing online courses
- Developing digital learning materials
- Developing online facilitation skills
- Designing authentic online assessment
“On completion of this course, educators are expected to be able to incorporate technologies in diverse learning environments. It will enhance their skills of identifying learners’ special needs and their ability to assist according to the specific need. The use of the readily available open-source software eliminates most of the different challenges in online teaching and learning.
“During the programme, the teachers will be expected to apply basic principles of online programme design, material development, facilitation and assessment for children with special needs. Overall, the course integrates technology into the education of children with special needs in recognition of quality education as a right for all children.
The Under Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Lungelo Nhlengetfwa, extended his appreciation to ESCCOM for the continued support to realize inclusion of our children with special needs and disabilities in the education sector through provision of assistive technology that helps to improve the learning experience for our Swati learners on behalf of the Ministry.