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.