Will help reach more students nationwide and enhance educational experience
Malé, September 15, 2021: In a bid to assist the Government of Maldives accelerate provision of educational services in a decentralized and effective manner, digitalization equipment was provided today to Maldives Polytechnic through the Ministry of Higher Education by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, with the generous endowment of the Government of Japan.
The equipment will go towards establishing e-learning stations in Maldives Polytechnic’s regional campuses in Gaafu Alif Gahdhoo and Seenu Hithadhoo, as well as additional online set-ups in the Male’ Campus - helping over 900 students access uninterrupted technical and vocational education and enhance their studying experience through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The digitalization equipment provided to the Institute consisted of computer systems, webcams, microphones, and a host of supporting software.
Maldives Polytechnic is the leading technical and vocational education provider in Maldives, aiming to build a qualified, skilled workforce and boost the technical and vocational industry in the country. With the onset of the pandemic and the disruption to service provision of educational establishments, Maldives Polytechnic shifted from physical to virtual classes, resulting in an increase in demand for online education, and adding strain on existing resources.
“The equipment donated by UNDP will enhance the Maldives Polytechnic’s capability to reach out to students across the Maldives and ensure they have a valuable learning experience, especially in difficult situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Through online learning mechanism we will be able to provide accessibility to many youths in rural areas and assist them find decent jobs via skill training. This small yet big assist will make Maldives more resilient and better prepared for future shocks and such crises,” said Ahmed Nasir, Chief Executive Officer of Maldives Polytechnic.
To address the challenges faced by Maldives Polytechnic, UNDP Maldives extended support to the Institute via the Ministry of Higher Education, as part of a project supported by the Government of Japan to build social cohesion in the Maldives. The initiative focuses on building capacities of government institutions to provide decentralized and equitable access to enhanced educational services, increasing opportunities and wellbeing of students across the country. The nexus of today’s partnership places emphasis on strengthening the foundations for resilient technical and vocational education systems in times of crisis, and the opportunities that digitalization can provide towards building the sustainable society of the future.
“I am pleased that the Government of Japan contributed to bridging the access gap by supporting the Maldives Polytechnic through UNDP Maldives to establish e-learning stations in regional campuses. The provision of equipment and software would enhance the capacity in providing vocational and technical education in a decentralized and effective manner. Japan is committed to continuing to support Maldives in achieving SDG 4, which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” said Keiko Yanai, Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives in her remarks.
COVID-19 has accelerated countries’ reliance on digital technology. To be fit for purpose, UNDP has fast-tracked digital collaboration and investments in digital public goods throughout the crisis. Today’s initiative will contribute toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 on Quality Education, and 10 on Reduced Inequalities.
“Digital solutions are expected to revolutionize how people access basic services, such as health and education, and accelerate progress towards the SDGs. Through this support, UNDP seeks to reduce the barriers to knowledge and skills by increasing access to technology and digital literacy - to eliminate gender inequality, social and economic exclusion and ensure vulnerable populations are not left behind,” said Vera Hakim, UNDP Resident Representative ad interim.
UNDP acknowledged the efforts of the Government of Maldives and service institutes to embrace existing and emerging digital technology and accelerate provision of services in a decentralized and effective manner, and reiterated commitment to work with partners towards inclusion, equity and opportunities.
Speech by Vera Hakim, UNDP Resident Representative ad interim