The Role of a Ministry of Education in Addressing Distance Education during Emergency Education
1.1. Literature Review
1.1.1. Distance Learning in the Schools
1.1.2. Emergency Education
1.1.3. Policies for Successful Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic
1.1.4. ICT-Based Education in Palestine
1.1.5. Dimensions of Quality in the Administration of Education
1.2. Significance of the Study
1.3. Research Question
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Research Setting and Participants
2.2. Data-Collecting Tools
2.2.1. The Semi-Structured Interview
2.2.2. Reviewing the Ministry’s News Published on Websites
2.3. Data Analysis Tools
3.1. Students’ Preparedness and Attendance
3.1.1. Concern with Students’ Preparedness for Distance Learning
Students have been trained how to manage Teams, whether alone or with their parents. They were trained to perform tasks, whether forum tasks or worksheets, or tests. They learned how to send the tasks to the teacher to receive feedback.
3.1.2. Concern with K2 Students
The ministry was especially concerned with first and second-grade students. K2 schools were requested to educate children, together with their parents how to work with Teams. The ministry followed up whether parents had participated in the workshops.
3.1.3. Concern for Students’ Preparedness for Special Occasions
The ministry of education was concerned with preparing the students for participating in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). To do so it uploaded to its site materials relevant for the assessment. These materials contained text files as well as video files. The goal of the video files was to help students with the assessment in times of emergency.
3.2. Teacher’s Skills and Qualifications
3.2.1. Qualifying Teachers for Distance Teaching
The National Institute of the ministry of education runs a teacher qualification program called the diploma of professional qualification of the expert teacher. This program contains six competencies established based on the ministry’s specific educational needs at that year. This year, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has targeted pedagogical and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). It included interactive sharing, electronic activities, electronic evaluation, continuous communication, employing the Palestinian channel effectively. This program emphasized teaching competencies, learning patterns, and teaching and learning strategies.
3.2.2. Developing Teachers’ Skills in the Use of Technological Tools
3.3. Parents’ Qualification and Preparedness
3.3.1. Preparing Students’ Parents for Online Education
We thought that parents would have the main role in encouraging their children’s attendance and engagement in the online lessons. We requested the school principals to take care of the parents’ issue through planning several face-to-face workshops, on the condition that they follow the safety directions of the ministry of education.
3.3.2. Parents’ Interest in Developing Their Knowledge of Online Education
Some parents showed interest in knowing more about online learning, but others were reluctant to come to the school to develop their knowledge about online learning. We came to know that the children of parents who showed interest in online learning were more engaged in this learning than the children of parents who did not show this interest.
3.4. Follow-Up of Engagement and Attendance of Teachers and Students
3.4.1. Following up the Attendance of Teachers
The attendance of teachers and students is followed up, and detailed reports are published. This has increased the opportunity to compare schools and directorates, in addition to asking directorates (school administrators) to request accountability from each teacher who has not been committed yet to the Teams.
3.4.2. Following up the Engagement of Teachers
3.5. Enriching Online Content
3.5.1. Converting Learning Materials into Video Materials
3.5.2. Putting Links to Educational Materials on School Sites
It was important for us to put links, on our site, to educational materials. To do so, we took advantage of the archived broadcasts on the Palestinian educational satellite in the Palestinian educational portal, for all classes. We expected these links to help teachers, students, and parents to return and watch them at any time, by easily clicking on the required lesson.
3.5.3. Recording the Synchronous Lessons and Uploading them for the Students and Parents
3.6. Enriching the Digital Curriculum
3.6.1. Preparing Schedules for Online Lessons
Several actions were undertaken by the principals in collaboration with the Directorate. Specific schedules for online lessons were planned for Basic Elementary school students (K4), for the fifth to tenth grades, and the eleventh to twelfth grades.
3.6.2. Providing Students with Interactive Books
3.7. Strengthening Infrastructure
3.7.1. Increasing the Internet Speed in Schools
3.7.2. Providing the Schools with Laptops
Schools have been provided with computers through projects, where more than 50 laptops have been distributed to teachers and supervisors. An additional number will be provided shortly. 4500 tablets will be distributed soon, 2000 tablets will be distributed by UNICEF, 2000 from the Ministry of Social Development. Currently, we contact our partners to provide additional equipment.
3.7.3. Fitting the Distance Learning Lesson to the Infrastructure
3.7.4. Providing Teachers and Students with Emails
The department of Administration of Educational Technologies and Information Technology opened an official e-mail to all teachers and students. The Internet has been increased to 30 megabytes, 63% of schools, because of a technical problem with the Palestinian telecommunications company, 100% has not been reached, and 55% have been provided with Internet service, and the rest has not been completed due to delays in the bidding.
4. Discussion and Conclusions
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Participant||Department||Seniority at Work|
|Category||Themes||Terms Indicating the Theme|
|Students’ preparedness and attendance||Concern with students’ preparedness for distance learning||Training-students-distance|
|Concern with Kindergarten to 2nd Grade|
|Concern for students’ preparedness for special occasions||Students-preparedness-occasion|
|Teacher’s skills and qualification||Qualifying teachers for distance teaching||Qualify-teacher-distance|
|Developing teachers’ skills in the use of technological tools||Teacher-skill-technology/tool|
|Parents’ qualification and preparedness:||Preparing students’ parents for online education||Prepare-parents-online|
|Parents’ interest in developing their knowledge of online education||Parents-knowledge-online|
|Follow-up of engagement and attendance of teachers and students||Following up the attendance of teachers||Follow up-teacher-attendance|
|Following up the engagement of teachers||Follow up-teacher-engagement|
|Enriching online content||Converting learning materials into video materials||Convert-learning material-video|
|Putting links to educational materials on the school sites||Link-educational materials|
|Recording the synchronous lessons and uploading them for the students and parents||Recoding-synchronous lectures|
|Enriching the digital curriculum||Preparing schedules for online lessons||Schedules-online|
|Providing students with interactive books||Students-interactive books|
|Strengthening infrastructure||Increasing the internet speed in schools||Internet speed|
|Providing the schools with laptops||Schools-laptops|
|Fitting the distance learning lesson to the infrastructure||Fit-distance lessons-infrastructure|
|Providing teachers and students with emails||Provide-teacher/student-email|
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Daher, W.; Salameh, H. The Role of a Ministry of Education in Addressing Distance Education during Emergency Education. Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12, 478-493. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12050036
Daher W, Salameh H. The Role of a Ministry of Education in Addressing Distance Education during Emergency Education. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education. 2022; 12(5):478-493. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12050036Chicago/Turabian Style
Daher, Wajeeh, and Huda Salameh. 2022. "The Role of a Ministry of Education in Addressing Distance Education during Emergency Education" European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education 12, no. 5: 478-493. https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12050036