Renewable energy trainers participated in a one-week training on blended learning and new education methods
The vocational training programme on wind and solar energy for Syrian refugees and host community members, carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey in partnership with the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) General Directorate of Lifelong Learning, will continue in 2022 with the “blended learning modality”. The work with academicians from Anadolu University on the new learning modality that combines online and face-to-face training and updating of the course content was relayed to the trainers of the programme in a one-week “Training of Trainers” (ToT). Participants got the opportunity to learn about the new educational technologies and techniques to further improve the effectiveness of the initiative.
The practical vocational and technical training programme on renewable energy, designed to eliminate the gap of subprofessionals in the sector, focuses on the installation, maintenance and repair of existing equipment and systems of the plants and facilities generating energy through wind and solar power. The 247-hour course programme, launched in March 2021, used to proceed as face-to-face training in 5 provinces. As a result of the comprehensive work undertaken in partnership with academicians from Anadolu University, UNDP and MoNE decided that 103 hours of training that covered theoretical knowledge would be embedded in digital content to be accessed before and after courses.
In a ToT held in Antalya, the programme’s trainers received training from specialist academicians on blended learning, class set-up in the new system, communication techniques, guidance, and assessment standards. At the end, every trainer performed a sample course delivery.
UNDP Turkey Project Consultant Prof. Dr. Alper Tolga Kumtepe noted that, through the blended learning model, conventional course delivery in the classroom will be replaced by a “flipped classroom” method that would take course delivery out of the classroom, thereby enabling to devote more time in class for discussion and exercises as higher-order skills to use class time more efficiently. Stating that the new system would position the trainer as a “guide” rather than the conventional role of narrator, Kumtepe emphasized that the ToT was important for trainers to keep up with the new technologies and methods.
MoNE Project Coordinator Kadir Canpolat stated that, of the 2,750 vocational course programmes under General Directorate of Lifelong Learning, this would be the first-ever course to be delivered through blended learning model and this would probably be a pioneer for other programmes in terms of bringing together trainees and trainers with new educational technologies. Canpolat further noted that due to the climate crisis, the initiative that focuses on renewable energy is increasingly important.
In the framework of the studies with Anadolu University, a comprehensive manual was also prepared as a step-by-step guide for trainers to ensure that course programmes in all provinces would be carried out with the same standards. The digital system would enable trainers to monitor trainees, and MoNE and UNDP to monitor trainers, and lay down the daily course programme in detail.
Funded with US$2.3 million by the Republic of Korea, the initiative was launched in March 2021 in the provinces of Bursa, Kocaeli, Konya, Hatay and Mersin for 500 trainees. In 2022, Istanbul will be included in the programme by additional funding for a target of 1,000 trainees. The project is a part of UNDP Turkey’s portfolio aiming to improve access to labour markets, strengthen livelihoods, enhance public services, build social cohesion in order ultimately to enhance the self-reliance of Syrian refugees and resilience of host communities.