Kuwaiti Educators Attend Curriculum Development Training at Wisconsin Technical College

Article excerpt

In an effort to improve education and training in Kuwait and other gulf countries, 10 officials from Kuwait's Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) attended a curriculum-design workshop offered by the Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wis., January 19-28.

WIDS is a nonprofit division of the Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation Inc. that provides curriculum-design software, training and consulting services to facilitate the process of course and program development at colleges, businesses and other organizations worldwide.

"The WIDS training will bring key officials of the PAAET Curriculum Development Center (CDC) up to date on the latest in curriculum-design systems," says Ross Amerie, president of the American International Development Council (AIDC), Inc. Once trained, the attendees will work to introduce WIDS into Kuwait's career and technical education system. Finally, they will work to disseminate the WIDS system as consultants throughout other gulf nations, including Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the other Arab-speaking nations.

Engaged in international education for 23 years, the AIDC has served as a consultant to the PAAET since 1990. A division of Kuwait's Ministry of Education, the PAAET is responsible for all technical and vocational training in Kuwait, according to Amerie.

"The AIDC has worked on and off in Kuwait since the end of the Desert Storm War and arrived there to assist in the education sector even whilst the oil rigs set afire by Saddam Hussein were still burning," he says.

Since 1990, the AIDC has worked to help rebuild Kuwait's education system, including four colleges and seven training centers, by developing organizational studies, strategic plans, job descriptions, policies, procedures and assessment systems.

"The Iraqi Bathists had stripped the colleges of everything moveable, even tiles, light switches and fixtures," notes Amerie. "This necessitated a huge refurbishment and was like starting the system again from scratch."

AIDC's most recent focus in Kuwait has been on curriculum development, according to Amerie. "We researched available curriculum design systems and decided WIDS was the most advanced," he says.

As a result, AIDC recommended WIDS to PAAET top management. The workshop walked PAAET attendees through the process of using WIDS software to design customized, learner-centered courses of study. …