Abdulrahman Al-Amri, chairman of the G20 Education Working Group

Abdulrahman Al-Amri
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Updated 28 June 2020

Abdulrahman Al-Amri, chairman of the G20 Education Working Group

Abdulrahman Al-Amri is the chair of the G20 Education Working Group.

He is also an assistant professor in the department of linguistics and translation studies at King Saud University. Most of his research focuses on speech perception and word recognition in Semitic languages, especially Arabic.

He also works on child language research and developmental language disorders.

Al-Amri holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in applied linguistics from King Saud University.

He also holds a master’s degree in linguistics, which he received in 2011, and a Ph.D. in psycholinguistics, completed in 2017, both from the University of Ottawa.

Al-Amri has more than 10 years’ experience in teaching.

He worked as an English language instructor for the Royal Saudi Air Force between December 2006 and August 2008.

He then worked as a lecturer at King Saud University between September 2008 and 2017, and also served as assistant professor of  psycholinguistics in the department of linguistics at the university from September 2017 until now.

In Thursday’s T20 Virtual Conference, Al-Amri used the panel discussion to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the education sector.

“Like many other sectors, education was highly affected by the outbreak. 1.6 billion students (91 percent of all students globally) were impacted by school closure. 195 countries either reduced local or nationwide closure of schools,” he said.

He added: “There has not been an instance in modern history where the education ecosystems have experienced such a shock. Many issues were associated with the shift to alternative solutions, including limited internet connectivity and distance learning capabilities, especially in less-developed countries.”

Referring to responses by countries, he said there needed to be a united global effort.

“Both governments and international organizations should mobilize unique and innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” he added.

He said that many countries and international organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank, and UNICEF have contributed solutions.

Al-Amri added that responses by G20 countries to mitigate the impact of the pandemic have been varied.

“There is a variety of changes; activating distance learning solutions, implementing countrywide closures of schools, and providing students, parents, and educators with the social support they need to cope with distance learning measures.”


$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

Updated 8 min 33 sec ago

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

  • Saudi capital’s planning chief unveils ambitious strategy ahead of G20 urban development summit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is launching a SR3 trillion ($800 billion) plan to double the size of Riyadh in the next decade and transform it into an economic, social and cultural hub for the region.

The ambitious strategy for the capital city was unveiled by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, ahead of key meetings of the U20, the arm of the G20 leaders’ summit that deals with urban development and strategy.

“Riyadh is already a very important economic engine for the Kingdom, and although it’s already very successful, the plan now, under Vision 2030, is to actually take that way further, to double the population to 15 million people,” he told Arab News.

“We’ve already launched 18 megaprojects in the city, worth over SR1 trillion, over $250 billion, to both improve livability and deliver much higher economic growth so we can create jobs and double the population in 10 years. It’s a significant plan and the whole city is working to make sure this happens.”

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 18 megaprojects have already been launched worth over $250 billion.
  • 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years.
  • King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The city also aims to be a Middle East artistic and cultural hub. An opera house is being considered, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world. “We have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plans will be discussed this week during online meetings of the U20 linking Riyadh with Houston. The Texas oil capital is suffering a new spike in coronavirus cases and pandemics will be on the agenda. “We want to deal with this one, but also be ready for the next one,” Al-Rasheed said.