Participants of the online training of trainers were awarded certificates in a ceremony held on 26 February 2019 at IUG. The goal of the six-month training of trainers was to strengthen the capacities of IUG academics to implement modern pedagogical approaches in university teaching as well as to train other university teachers on these pedagogical approaches.
Dr Salem Hellis, Vice-President for Academic Affairs at IUG, opened the certificates awarding ceremony and welcomed the attendees. He congratulated the IUG academics on completing the training and noted that the FinPal online training on teaching and learning in higher education is the first training of the kind organised in Palestine.
Dr Vesa Korhonen, project coordinator and one of the teachers in the training, expressed his gratitude to the IUG project team for their efforts and contributions to the successful implementation of the training. He emphasised that the end of the training of trainers marks a beginning of a new phase of the pedagogical development at IUG – the second round of training will be organised later in 2019 for teaching staff working at IUG and other universities in Gaza. An active engagement of the local trainers will be essential for strengthening pedagogical expertise in universities in Gaza. Dr Korhonen referred to the importance of higher education for wider societal development emphasising the role of motivated and growth-oriented university teachers.
In his speech, Dr Nazmi Al-Masri, local project coordinator, acknowledged the efforts and engagement of the training participants who have successfully completed the training overcoming various local and institutional challenges over the six months training programme. Dr Al-Masri stressed that the creative, content-rich, and comprehensive training programme is a result of close cooperation between the project members in Tampere and Gaza. He extended his gratitude to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland that supports the project through its Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument.
Dr Jyri Lindén, university pedagogy expert and the training coordinator, described the training programme as a great learning experience that builds deeper intercultural understanding between academics in Finland and Palestine. He recognised the admirable engagement of IUG staff in supporting and developing its local community. Dr Lindén noted that developing teaching expertise is not just a matter of learning new ideas but it is an identity-construction process of university teachers as individuals and as members of an academic community.
On behalf of the training participants, Dr Faten Abu Shoga thanked to the project team on the opportunity to join the training programme that has enriched the thoughts and work of the IUG academics. She emphasised that the training enabled the participants to see the broader picture of teaching and learning in higher education and made the teaching more enjoyable. Education process requires continuous development, Dr Abu Shoga noted, thus the teachers need to modernise their teaching approaches. The change in the professional and academic life of the training participants brought by the training will pave the way for the future institutional and societal developments.
After the introductory speeches, the participants of the training programme were awarded the certificates. On behalf of the eTraining FinPal project, representatives of both partner universities signed the awarded certificates.
The ceremony was concluded with two presentations by the training participants, Dr Yousef Aljeesh and Dr Khamis Elessi. Dr Aljeesh, professor at the Faculty of Nursing, presented his pedagogical project focusing on developing the course on adult nursing. Dr Elessi, associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, presented his pedagogical project on teaching evidence-based medicine. Both pedagogical projects were developed and implemented during the training programme applying the teaching and learning approaches presented in the training.
The project team congratulates the participants on successful completion of the training programme and looks forward to the future cooperation on building pedagogical expertise at IUG.
Training of trainers concluded with certificates awarding ceremony at IUG (26 Feb 2019)
Video: Certificate awarding ceremony at IUG on 26.2.2019