Online Training for AWEN Members
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Education International Africa Region (EIRAF) organised an online training for the African Women in Education Network (AWEN) on the use of virtual platforms. The training brought about ninety (90) AWEN members in 44 countries. It focused on building the capacity of AWEN members to enable them to reach out to their unions, networks’ audiences with ease and to facilitate online trainings. The training took place from 18th – 20th November for gender coordinators of unions in French speaking countries, and from 25th -27th November for those in the Anglophone and Lusophone countries.
The objectives of the training were (a) to increase knowledge of the most used online meetings and training virtual platforms, with a focus on the Zoom platform; (b) to help participants develop a clear understanding of the different functionalities, advantages, and shortcomings of the Zoom platform; (c) to enhance participants’ facilitation skills to enable them to conduct online trainings; and to help the Sub-Regional and Regional Networks maintain interaction and to continue mobilising members despite the Covid-19 context.
In his introductory remarks, Dr Dennis Sinyolo, Chief Regional Coordinator of EI Africa, indicated that the training was initiated to equip AWEN members with knowledge and skills on the use of virtual platforms. . He also stated that the training will empower AWEN members and enable them to organise online meetings and facilitate trainings to increase awareness of union leaders and members about gender equality issues in unions and in education. Dr. Sinyolo emphasised that ‘Gender Equality is and will continue to be of paramount importance to Education International.’ He finally encouraged participants to familiarise themselves with EI’s Gender Equality Action Plan, to adapt it to their own union and country’s contexts and ensure its full implementation.
The training also gave an opportunity to participants to understand how Zoom can be used for training and to gain a practical understanding of online platforms and acquire facilitation skills for trainings using virtual platforms. Practical presentations were made on Zoom functionalities, facilitation techniques, methods of setting up online meetings on Zoom and inviting others to join, approaches to conduct trainings online and ways to avoid technical and time zone scheduling challenges.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, urged all AWEN members to use what they have learnt to host online meetings and workshops as needed and to convene union members to discuss important issues, strategize, mobilise and strengthen their unions.