Gulf states at forefront in education technology
Dubai, May 15, 2013
Digital education programmes being introduced to schools in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will have a positive long-term effect on students, says the regional president of Pearson, one of the world’s leading education companies.
GCC Governments’ expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP has risen dramatically over the past decade. This year, the Saudi Arabia government is expected to commit a record $54 billion to education, which makes it one of the top ranking countries in the world in terms of education spending.
The UAE and Qatar are also channelling unprecedented amounts of funding into developing world-class education systems, with the UAE spending nearly a fifth of its entire budget on schools, and Qatar more than doubling its education spending over the past five years to reach more than $6 billion this year.
The vision behind governments’ significant increases in education spending is to equip the future workforce with the necessary skills and qualifications to thrive in a competitive, international market place.
Government decision makers in the region have recognised that implementing digital technology into classrooms is critical to guaranteeing today’s learners are adequately prepared for the education and career challenges that will face them in the future.
Last year, Qatar’s Supreme Education Council announced a series of e-Learning programmes that will digitise the teaching and learning content in all of its schools, and will see every learner given a personal learning device by the end of 2014.
Similarly, in 2010, the UAE Government initiated a new scheme to implement state-of-the-art educational technology in all public schools, which will reach nearly 295,000 students.
It is intended that such initiatives will bring far-reaching benefits to students, improve attainment rates, and enhance overall results, said the expert.
"The e-Learning technologies, such as virtual learning environments (VLEs) or Learning Platforms, as they are also known, are transforming teaching and learning experiences in the Gulf, and bringing real and lasting benefits to those that use them," remarked Christine Ozden, the regional president of Pearsons.
"With over 160 million logins each year, the Pearson VLE, Fronter is completely revolutionising the way people teach and learn, across the globe. Just like a regular school building, Fronter is an arena for learning, teaching and interacting with peers and colleagues, but it can also be used to make organising, sharing and documenting as easy as possible," she stated.
"Fronter’s regular webinars, training courses and on-hand support keep educators up-to-date with the very latest in teaching tools and learning resources, helping them to meet and exceed world class teaching standards," Ozden noted.
The Fronter Day is taking place on May 22 at Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate in Dubai.
Ozden believes VLEs will play an important role in the future of digital education in the Gulf, and be significant in realising the education goals of governments in the region, saying:
“The goal of regional governments to equip every student with high level technology skills will have enormous benefits not only in the short-term, but also for the future prosperity of entire communities. Incorporating VLEs like Fronter into classrooms will allow students to receive the world’s best and latest in learning technology, and prepare them for a successful future in a digital age,” she added.-TradeArabia News Service