E-learning: Paving the way forward
The UAE successfully activates smart e-learning platforms amid pandemic
In a recent Digital Government Meeting, the UAE government asserted that the futuristic vision of the UAE's wise leadership, the state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, and the flexibility to develop proactive solutions and keep pace with changes and emergencies, enabled a rapid response to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the education sector and ensure the continuity of distance learning for more than 1.2 million students in the UAE, using modern technologies and applications, while maintaining the health and security of society under such exceptional circumstances.
Within the remote session, detailing the impact of Covid-19 on education, Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, discussed the means to enhance preparedness for the post-Covid-19 phase. He pinpointed the importance of this meeting to follow up on the latest developments and work mechanisms developed by ministries and government entities to address the current situation and prepare for the post-Covid-19 phase. Al Hammadi hailed the national teamwork spirit and solidarity while reviewing the main pillars of responding to the impact on the education sector.
The minister pointed out that the UAE adopted the necessary measures to complete the academic year through the smart learning system for 1.2 million students in schools and universities.
He added that this emergency accelerated the transition to smart learning in the UAE. Some plans and programmes were scheduled to be introduced in the coming years, but Covid-19 accelerated their implementation, thus enhancing the country's response. Smart e-learning platforms have been activated across all subjects with aligned curricula and plans.
He further stressed the importance of encouraging universities to adopt smart learning techniques and set new policies, frameworks and programs to support online learning. He added that the teacher's role will change immensely in the next phase, which requires developing new training methods.
The Minister of Education stressed the need to enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors to boost education quality and efficiency in the UAE through exchanging data and successful experiences and involving the private sector in the training processes.
"This would ensure continuous education in the private education sector in times of crises, in addition to encouraging students to join technical, applied and professional education, increasing enrollment rates to 50 per cent of the total number of students, and improving the outputs of this system to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy that enhances performance efficiency in the next phase," he said.
Al Hammadi talked about the general impact of Covid-19 on education worldwide, which resulted in depriving 70 per cent of the world's students, 1.26 billion students, from education. He mentioned the expectations in the education sector in the UAE as regards distance learning during the current academic year, highlighting that the method to be adopted next year depends on the health situation at that time.
He also focused on the global trends post-Covid-19 and their positive impact on the short term, such as integrating distance education as an essential part of the educational system to ensure seamless continuity of the academic year.
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