DUBAI: The Dubai government has launched a free e-learning education platform to cater for more than 50 million Arabic speaking students across the region and beyond.
“Madrasa” was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, prime minister of the UAE, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI).
It aims to be the largest free e-learning platform in the Arab world, offering 5,000 world-class Arabic educational videos on subjects including science and mathematics and targeting all levels of school students from kindergarten to grade 12.
The project provides unique educational materials in Arabic, available online at no charge to more than 50 million Arab students around the world and is the culmination of the Translation Challenge, an effort to bring volunteers together to translate 11 million words of educational content into Arabic.
“Building a better future for our region starts in the classroom and e-learning can bridge the knowledge gap in the Arab world. Technology can offer millions of Arab students the opportunity to develop their scientific capabilities. We aspire to provide world-class education to every Arab child,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
He urged “all those who have the ability to do so to launch similar initiatives.”
Inviting all Arab students to use the Madrasa platform, Sheikh Mohammed said: “My message to Arab students is: Education is your future and your weapon to navigate life.”
Omar Farooqui, a coding educationist and the founder of Coded Minds, said that this was an excellent initiative that will further cement Dubai at the forefront of the Arab world when it comes to progressive education standards.
“With the exponential advancement of technology making leaps forward one needs to understand that education is everyone’s right. Therefore offering part of the STEAM subjects, i.e. science and mathematics, goes a long way toward addressing a major gap that exists between education offered and education delivered to all,” said Farooqui.
Dr. Muna Amr, associate professor of educational studies at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, said that access to education in the Arab World has always been a major issue with school enrolment rates in the Arab region.
“A few Arab countries are among the lowest in school enrolment. Such challenges require smart solutions such as the one this initiative offers; making education affordable and accessible to all children.”
She said: “Many studies have shown that e-learning now is one of the most powerful tools that, if used properly, will revolutionize education by improving its quality and accessibility.
This initiative is expected to have a profound impact on improving educational levels and abilities for children from all backgrounds across the Arab region.”