Making education an enjoyable experience

Updated 29 June 2014
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Making education an enjoyable experience

Faiza Abdul Qayyum, a Ph.D. holder in innovative education, has come up with an innovative activity-based learning program that could turn education into edutainment for students by making it an enjoyable experience with none of the boredom attached.
Originally from India, Faiza in Saudi Arabia has a master’s degree and also a doctorate in education from Washington International University, Pa, told Arab News that games with an element of humor provide relief, thereby creating an environment conducive to the learning process.
“With a balanced classroom approach, built on the potential of all students and based on Multiple Intelligences Theory and their learning styles, an adept teacher can make learning a great experience,” she said.
According to her, the core objective of teaching is transmitting knowledge or wisdom to students. “Saudi Arabia is an economically rich country with very little growth in human resource. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, has taken the initiative to improve this reserve and develop it as an asset,” she observed.
The Indian educator said, “Theoretically, it is the 21st century, but our schools here in Saudi Arabia adhere to a pattern of education that is rooted in the 19th & 20th centuries. Our first and most important challenge is to reinvent schools for the 21st century — retrospection about current educational practices is essential for our students to be noteworthy, intelligent contributors in a rapidly transforming world.”
“Making such an ideal move is not going to be easy and it is not enough to say that we are already living there,” she pointed out.
“We need to demonstrate how an innovative learning environment in classrooms, supported by powerful new technologies could revolutionize the art of learning. I believe that the Kingdom has great potential to develop and improve its education system to such international levels that it can be applied to globally accepted curricula.”
She explained that Saudi and expat students have the potential to aspire to these global criterions. “We need to develop an interactive curriculum at upper primary and secondary and high school levels and guide students to apply their knowledge in daily life enriching their life experiences.”
Faiza continued: “I believe that theoretical knowledge is important for use when required whereas practical knowledge is hands-on and can be used in modern everyday life.
The responsibility of imparting education lies with all; if the four-school community groups work together towards the subordinate goals of providing lasting education for future productive global citizens then the Saudi school scenario would become very distinctly dynamic!"
She said that concerted efforts must be made by the society as a whole to motivate the youth to pave the way for a productive future through their seemingly superfluous gadgets and needless online activities. If teachers and schools can provide online learning activities: homework, projects, quizzes or even blogs on their school websites, this would give constructive direction to their online adventures.
With the advent of the web and of mobile/cell phone technologies, approaches to learning have changed drastically, but methods of assessment have not, Faiza noted. "Students are encouraged to collaborate, share knowledge and investigate but, rather than assessing these skills, most institutions still focus on what students memorize for traditional exams."
By giving teachers and students the peace of mind and necessary training-teacher assistants, and resources the school can support in providing effective lessons, she concluded.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.