Ministry of Education was not ready for distant teaching in emergencies

Baku / 17.03.20 / Turan: Since March 2, classes in schools and universities have been stopped in Azerbaijan, kindergartens and sports clubs have been closed. Since the beginning of this week, the broadcasting of school programs for schoolchildren began on the Azerbaijani television channel AzTV-Culture. Schoolteachers conduct classes from the television studio created by the Ministry of Education. For the first time, Azerbaijan applied distant teaching.

One of the active supporters of distant education in the country is Ilham Ahmedov, an associate professor of Azerbaijan Pedagogical University named after Tusi. However, his appearances on television and social networks were ignored by the Ministry of Education. As a result, the education system of Azerbaijan, which faced the problem of coronavirus, was not ready to organize distant teaching.

In an interview with Turan, Ilham Ahmedov said:

- At that time, even before the pandemic, universities and schools with distant education were operating, but five thousand Azerbaijani schools and universities were not ready for the new system. The Ministry of Education not only created a system of distance learning, but also blocked attempts to create it.

Distance education is needed not only in emergencies. Up to now, continuing education courses are being held like 50 years ago, that is, teachers, doctors come to Baku, live here and go to courses, while all this can be done remotely.

-What is the reason why this attitude to distant education?

- The reason is that for 20 years the system has always been driven by the desire and knowledge of one person - the minister. He himself decided what was needed and what was harmful to education, ignoring the opinions of specialists and trends in world education.

The Ministry of Education explains the backwardness of distance learning by the fact that the Internet is low in Azerbaijan, and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies reports on high-quality Internet throughout the country.

In the 2000s, when the Internet was weaker in the world than it is now in Azerbaijan, dozens of universities with distant studies have successfully worked in other countries.

Today, our Ministry of Education is forced to use the capabilities of traditional television, which is the level of the last century. There are no personnel and technical capacities in the Ministry of Education for autonomous and high quality, sustainable distant education. Moreover, in the law on education, a special place is given to distant learning.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications adopted government-funded programs: “Equipping the Education System with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)”; "Information system of education"; "Electronic Azerbaijan"; “Development of the information society”; “Strategic Roadmap for the Development of ICT” and others.

However, now it is urgent to call teachers on television to record their lesson for broadcasting, while in other countries there are national Internet channels where you can easily find any lesson and study at home. Along with traditional teaching, there is online teaching all over the world, and students can choose the most appropriate teaching method. This choice is especially relevant for people with disabilities.

- How to fix the situation?

- Universities, and especially schools, alone cannot create a national system of distant education. It is necessary to find funds, raise specialists and create a working group to solve an urgent problem. Azerbaijan is undergoing reforms, which the education system urgently needs. -0-


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