Six international organizations have completed two studies on "e-learning" in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in rapid response, multiple options, and continuous improvement.
The National eLearning Center has announced that the global organizations have completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop and improve e-learning practices in the Kingdom in accordance with the latest global practices and standards in this field.
These two studies were conducted with the participation of more than 342,000 students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders, as the number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the USA, whereas the second study has been prepared by the OECD with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In these two studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries around the world, as the two studies showed the Kingdom's distinction in the diversity of available options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education, which were provided by the Kingdom. The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing them at the national level, was only 38%.
The study, which was conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, included a comparison about the Kingdom's response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states, and the results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of these countries. The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to activating e-learning. The study of public education also indicated that there is a clear strategy for the ministry of education to reopen schools in the Kingdom, and measuring any losses, and treating them.
The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) has hailed the great efforts made by the Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis in terms of providing variety of options for eLearning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction in an effective manner.
It is noteworthy that the two studies have recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education, and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education. The National eLearning Center is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and start its implementation.
Given the importance of these studies and their results, the Center has announced that the organizations that conducted the studies will publish their results and will complete the second phase of it at the end of the current semester (the Fall semester).