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.


Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

  • The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement
  • The king wished the two countries further security, prosperity and stability

JEDDAH: King Salman chaired the Cabinet’s session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday.

The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement.

King Salman expressed his congratulations to the two countries and said that he hoped the signing of the agreement would be a strong basis for closer cooperation and friendship, achieving security and stability, and would positively affect the security and stability of the region.

The king also congratulated Djibouti and Eritrea on their historic meeting in Jeddah — which came in response to his invitation — wishing the two countries further security, prosperity and stability.

The Cabinet praised the efforts of the two countries’ leaders to restore relations between them to establish a new stage that would witness a great development in relations and further cooperation.

The Cabinet congratulated the king and crown prince on the success of these efforts, which resulted in the signing of the Jeddah Peace Agreement and also the historic meeting between Djibouti and Eritrea after ten years of severed relations. 

The Cabinet praised the resolutions of the 150th ordinary session of the Arab League’s Council at the level of foreign ministers held in Cairo, and the statement issued by the Arab Quartet Ministerial Committee held on the sidelines of the 150th session of the Arab League’s Council, on the follow-up of the crisis with Iran and ways to address its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The Cabinet highlighted the terrorism practiced by Iran through its interference in Arab affairs, which needs cooperation to confront and deter, reiterating that the Kingdom has made efforts to combat terrorism and has not hesitated to provide support with the cooperation of the international community to address this.

The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the suicide bombings north of Tikrit in Iraq, the Somali capital of Mogadishu and Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, expressing condolences to the families of the victims, the governments and peoples of Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.