In 1969, WHO designed an international teacher training program as suggested by its counselors. In this project, 8 centers were selected to train teachers in their own area. Shiraz University of Medical Sciences was selected as RTT Center in Eastern Mediterranean area and the center was established in 1972 by Dr. Taba, the manager of Eastern Mediterranean area. The main objective of this center is designing and improving teaching methods, planning, and evaluation of affiliated medical groups in Iran and Eastern Mediterranean area. Close collaboration with WHO centers had a considerable impact on the development of proper education in Iranian universities. This main goal of this center is to change the passive educational system into self-education (active education). The specialized activities of this center in coordination with WHO are the following:
· Educational programs including arrangement of workshops and fellowships for local academic staff and those in the Eastern Mediterranean area. During 3 years, about 420 medical and paramedical staff participated in 30 different institutions in 7 countries in Eastern Mediterranean area, USA, and England for educational programs. One of the outcomes of these programs was making Shiraz University and its activities known among other universities and WHO centers in nearby countries.
· Managing the health staff projects in rural areas.
· Training experts for establishing a center for educational media.
· Publications: including preparation of magazines and textbooks.
· Continuing education of Shiraz University academic staff first and then Eastern Mediterranean academic staff.
· Other activities: arranging conferences, seminars and the first local educational workshop in 1972 in Shiraz in collaboration with the staff of EDC centers in Shiraz and Illinois Universities.
In 1973, Medical Education Department in collaboration with this center and under the supervision of WHO started health staff project in rural areas and in 1974, an assessment committee in which the managers of EDC centers and heads of different departments in medical school participated was founded.
This committee accepted the prepration, implementation and a survey of residency comprehensive exam.
Then, a project started for development of the center including:
· Offering medical education fellowships.
· Establishing evaluation centers: assessment of students, courses, syllabi and methodology.
· Establishing Educational Resource Center (ERC): This center was established in 1996 and transferred to the present building due to the need for proper place and equipment.
· Educational resource center was set up aiming at making the academic staff aware of educational process using instructional aids and requisite equipment, designing a pattern for universities in Iran and Eastern Mediterranean area.
At present based on WHO design about the application of educational technology in Medicine, this center does its activities in the following fields:
· Curriculum Planning
· Faculty Development
· Educational Evaluation
· Educational Economy & Policy
· Research in Education
· Educational Technology
· Community Based Medical Education
· E-Learning & Medical Education