The EU’s € 5m Mediterranean European Development Action - Education and Training for Employment (MEDA-ETE) Project, which aims to introduce e-learning into North African and Middle East Mediterranean countries is implemented by the European Training Foundation (ETF), an EU agency active in the field of education and training in the EU partner countries. The main direct beneficiaries of the project are the governmental structures and other public and private partners, who are key players in the field of education and training in ten partner countries: (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey).
Component 4 of the Regional EU project MEDA-ETE aims to achieve a full and thorough knowledge of methodological, pedagogical and technological aspects of e-learning in MEDA countries. Its specific goal is to develop and implement a ‘train the trainers’ programme to increase the usage of e-learning in this field.
Education and Training for Employment (ETE) is a regional project being implemented within the ‘Barcelona process’ - a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean. The ETE project has identified education and training as the main tools to facilitate the economic and social development of the North African and Middle East Mediterranean region.
The project is aimed at helping the MEDA countries to meet the increasing demand for new types of qualifications in the labour market; focusing on further understanding and integrating e-learning methodologies and tools in the education and training systems.
The main project beneficiaries are the teacher training institutions in the MEDA region. The target group comprises trainers, teachers and managers from training organisations taking part in the planning and implementation of the e-learning programmes, with particular focus on the IT and tourism sectors.
According to Fabrizio Cardinali, Giunti Labs’ CEO: “In the last six months, we have produced a ‘train the trainer’ course and made this available via the MEDA-ETE portal; published and introduced the learning materials in eight of the ten target countries – Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Syria – and welcomed the first trainees.”
“The learning materials are divided into ten modules, each of which contains learning activities with learning objects, guided lectures, checkpoints with tests, active participation with a discussion forum and chat session. After completing the learning materials, learners are asked to put their learning into practice.
“The learning materials were piloted in two phases,” Cardinali explained.
“The first phase – conducted at the end of last year - was directed at experts, managers and decision makers. Their feedback enabled us to obtain crucial qualitative data and validate the toolset.
“The second phase – early this year – sought information from members of teacher training institutions. In addition, we have explored how it would be possible to integrate – and sustain - the pilot course within an institutional setting in each country.”
Cardinali concluded: “E-learning solutions provide the necessary tools for meeting the rapidly evolving new requirements of the labour market in the MEDA countries. The interactivity offered by new learning technologies facilitates the involvement of the target audience in the learning experience, which is one of the focuses of Component 4 of the MEDA-ETE project.
”Throughout the different phases of this project, we are seeking greater co-operation with, and among, the ten countries. This co-operation is facilitated and supported via learning technologies.”
About The Barcelona Process, MEDA and so on
The Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona on 27th and 28th November 1995, marked the starting point of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Process), a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean.
The latest EU enlargement, on 1st May 2004, brought two Mediterranean Partners (Cyprus and Malta) into the European Union, while adding ten Member States. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership thus comprises 35 members, 25 EU Member States and ten Mediterranean Partners (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey). Libya has observer status since 1999.
The Barcelona Process is a unique and ambitious initiative, which laid the foundations of a new regional relationship and which represents a turning point in Euro-Mediterranean relations. In the Barcelona Declaration, the Euro-Mediterranean partners established the three main objectives of the Partnership:
1. The definition of a common area of peace and stability through the reinforcement of political and security dialogue (Political and Security Chapter)
2. The construction of a zone of shared prosperity through an economic and financial partnership and the gradual establishment of a free trade area (Economic and Financial Chapter)
3. The rapprochement between peoples through a social, cultural and human partnership aimed at encouraging understanding between cultures and exchanges between civil societies (Social, Cultural and Human Chapter).
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership comprises two complementary dimensions:
• Bilateral dimension. The European Union carries out a number of activities bilaterally with each country.
The most important are the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements that the Union negotiates with the Mediterranean Partners individually.
• Regional dimension. Regional dialogue represents one of the most innovative aspects of the Partnership, covering at the same time the political, economic and cultural fields (regional co-operation).
The existing MEDA programme is the main financial instrument for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. From 1995 to 2003, MEDA committed € 5,458m in co-operation programmes, projects and other supporting activities - the regional activities comprising some 15 per cent of this budget. The other important source of funding is the European Investment Bank which has loaned € 14bn for developing activities in the Euro-Mediterranean Partners since 1974 (€ 3.7bn in 2002-2003).
About Giunti Labs
Giunti is unique in the international publishing industry.
In 1497, Giunti publishers and typographers in Florence, together with others in Venice, began modern book manufacturing. Over the years Giunti has built a ‘historical catalogue’ of huge dimensions, through a gradual process of ‘fusion’ of different publishers, but also through the creation of new brands, including Giunti Labs. Giunti Editore now includes 20 companies in the publishing sector.
Giunti Labs, which has its global headquarters in Italy and offices in London (UK), Frankfurt (Germany) and in Boston (US), provides a wide range of services, in response to any content, learning and knowledge management need, covering:
• Content production
• Research and development
• Technological solutions for content, learning & knowledge management
• Architectural and technological solutions for mobile & wireless
• Training and consulting
Further information from:
Angus Turpin, Giunti Labs, +44 (0) 7733 365063
Minna Leikas, Giunti Labs, +39 3489 399127
MEDA-ETE Project Team, Turin, +39.011.6302222