The National Center for E-Learning announced that six global bodies have completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during the novel coronavirus pandemic, with the aim of documenting the experience, and coming up with initiatives to develop and advance e-learning practices in the Kingdom, in accordance with the latest international practices and standards in this field.
The bodies conducted the two studies with the participation of more than 342,000 students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders. 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), the Quality Matters Organization (QM), UNESCO, the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA), and the Institute of Information Technology in Education of UNESCO (IITE).
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in cooperation with Harvard University in public education, conducted the second study. During these two studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries around the world, as the two studies showed the Saudi Arabia's excellence in the variety of options available, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education. The studies showed that the percentage of countries succeeded in providing these options is only 38%.
The study was conducted by OECD and Harvard University, on a comparison of Saudi Arabia's response to education during the COVID-19 with 37 member states, showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 indicators out of 16 on the average of these countries, and revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to activating e-learning, indicating that there is a clear strategy to reopen schools in the Kingdom, and any losses are measured and addressed by the Ministry of Education.
The OLC commended the great efforts made by the Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis in terms of the variety of options available, and the speed of response to changes to ensure the success of the transition to e-learning in an effective manner. It is noteworthy that the two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education, and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education, and the National Center for E-Learning is working, in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and start their implementation, and the bodies that conducted the two studies will publish their results, given the importance of these studies and results.