Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education

Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education
Dr. Mohammed Al-Sudairy, deputy minister of education. (SPA)
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Updated 02 December 2020

Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education

Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education
  • Al-Sudairy said the ministry adopted online education systems to ensure the continuity of education, and protect students and teachers from contracting the virus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of education has highlighted hybrid learning as the “path to the future.”

Dr. Mohammed Al-Sudairy said distance or e-learning should no longer be viewed simply as a response to emergencies but as a strategic option for the future.

He was speaking at a workshop titled “Measurement of operational efficiency of college education in the light of COVID-19” organized by King Faisal University.

Highlighting measures taken by Saudi education authorities in the wake of the pandemic, Al-Sudairy said the ministry adopted online education systems to ensure the continuity of education, and protect students and teachers from contracting the virus.

“The decision ensured social distancing and the quality of education,” he said, adding that the ministry harnessed all its capabilities to act quickly.

Al-Sudairy said that online education began for all educational grades at the same time. The ministry achieved great results as students and teachers continued to interact online in a safe environment and without any loss to the academic year.

The ministry, public and private universities, colleges, and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation were able to shift to online education within one day of the decision to suspend physical attendance at school, he said.

Adapting to the virtual reality ensured the needs of teachers were met, while also increasing operational efficiency of university education and higher education.

Al-Sudairy said the online-learning system is not new. “Universities started making investments in e-learning in 2007,” he added.

The deputy minister called for the adoption of modern technologies and enhancement of teachers’ capabilities in terms of presenting interactive content on electronic platforms.
 


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.