Digital transformation of education sector vital for Vision 2030

Jamil Ahmed, Saudi Arabia country manager, Aruba.
Updated 09 June 2019

Digital transformation of education sector vital for Vision 2030

One of the main pillars of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is the educational sector. Shifting to digital education to support teacher and student progress will no doubt be a cornerstone of the National Transformation Program (NTP) and an area that Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, intends to play a key role in as an “enabler” through its mobile-first architecture that creates smarter networks for smarter students.
Jamil Ahmed, Saudi Arabia country manager at Aruba, said: “Classrooms are changing. We are seeing the impact of the digital revolution. Learning environments are now preparing students for their future work environments. Classrooms are shifting away from rows of desks, to an environment that promotes collaboration between students, teachers and learning devices. It’s what we call the optimized digital classroom. Textbooks are being swapped out for mobile devices that provide up-to-date content in real time. Printed exams are transitioning to online assessments. 1:1 and BYOD initiatives are replacing wired computer labs. Skype and Google Hangouts are fueling new study groups. And personalized learning programs are developed to meet the individual needs of each student.
“This digital classroom needs to support 21st century learning, with 1:1 initiatives and project-based learning. It needs to provide anytime/anywhere access to cloud-based apps like Google Apps for education and Office 365. It’s a classroom that easily provides guest access and encourages student collaboration, that can also prioritize critical learning apps such as Online Assessments. As a result, IT professionals in education in the Kingdom need to plan for the future and build a next-generation infrastructure that supports this digital learning environment and emerging technologies.”
A little over a year ago, the Education Ministry introduced an initiative called Future Gate to promote digital learning and “change the whole setting” in schools.

It handed out iPads to students and teachers in schools and is encouraging more technology-enabled teaching and learning.
Aruba is keen to work with government and educational institutions in the Kingdom toward developing this mobile-first strategy that will enable digital transformation of the education sector and e-learning.
“Aruba’s mobile-first strategy advocates unifying all things mobility to take the pressure off the educational institution’s IT — access management, the wired and wireless network, as well as the management and security of mobile devices and apps. All these elements need to be combined into one cohesive system, which offers a simpler and more secure way to support the mobility needs of students, faculty and guests,” said Ahmed.


‘East Meets West’ in BMG Foundation’s digital concert

Updated 10 August 2020

‘East Meets West’ in BMG Foundation’s digital concert

  • The program featured the young Saudi musician Albara Banoun, who played his traditional Arabian oud to accompany the contemporary compositions
  • Under the direction of William Garfield Walker, the ensemble performed in a music hall where Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler have presented their masterpieces

Following its tradition of holding charitable summer retreats in London for more than 25 years, this year — in wake of the global pandemic — BMG Foundation, the CSR and cultural arm of BMG Financial Group, united international musicians in the BMG Economic Forum’s new digital format.
Representing the G20 group of nations, 20 musicians from the Nova Orchester Wien came together to play a concert of Eastern and Western music, led by William Garfield Walker, an award-winning American conductor based in Vienna. The special commission featured Syrian-Argentinian composer Diego Collatti, synthesizing traditional Arabic music and Western music in the classical tradition, in homage to Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency.
This concert took place on July 15 in a live broadcast highlighting the end of the BMG Economic Forum, at an iconic musical hall in Vienna, the Ehrbar Saal. In “East Meets West,” the audience enjoyed listening to music inspired by traditional songs from Saudi Arabia, such as My Beloved Country, Long Live Salman and You Are King. The program, performed by an orchestral formation representing the G20 countries, included the young Saudi musician Albara Banoun, who played his traditional Arabian oud to accompany the contemporary compositions.
Under the direction of Walker, the group performed both modern and classical pieces in a music hall where Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler, among many others have presented their masterpieces and Steinway got his start.
Prince Abdullah bin Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to Austria, attended the concert alongside guests from the Saudi Embassy in Vienna. Prince Abdullah said that he was pleased to see the collaboration between Saudi musicians and other participants from the G20 countries, and hoped that the platform is used to further promote Saudi heritage on a global stage.
The concert ended with the perfectly performed Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky, in which the composer started out with a nod to Mozart.
BMG Foundation has been building bridges between the East and West via sports, music and art for more than 25 years. In a world that constantly reminds us of what sets us apart, the vision of BMG Foundation is to transcend differences through the mutual language of culture.