G1 Panelist: ‘Saudi Arabia used technology to maintain education during pandemic’

G1 Panelist: ‘Saudi Arabia used technology to maintain education during pandemic’
Aljamea said it was a challenge to switch from a limited time working at home to doing it virtually all of the time. (ANJ Photo)
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Updated 11 October 2022

G1 Panelist: ‘Saudi Arabia used technology to maintain education during pandemic’

G1 Panelist: ‘Saudi Arabia used technology to maintain education during pandemic’
  • “Working from home” methodology had been in place and in practice at STC before the pandemic, said Aljamea

TOKYO: At the Global G1 Conference 2022, Dr. Moudhi Aljamea of STC Academy and a member of the panel on “Crafting a Grand Design for Digital Education after the Covid Pandemic,” related how Saudi Telecom responded to the recent COVID-19 pandemic as far as education was concerned.

Aljamea said that, as with other countries, the pandemic took Saudi Arabia by surprise but noted that STC had been making serious efforts for a decade to develop and enable digital access and awareness in the Kingdom.  In fact, “working from home” methodology had been in place and in practice at STC before the pandemic, with 18 days per year to be worked from home. When the pandemic hit, the system was already up and running and STC staff were experienced with using it.

However, Aljamea said it was a challenge to switch from a limited time working at home to doing it virtually all of the time. STC saw adapting the system to an everyday practice as an opportunity. STC developed software to maintain the system during the pandemic to support productivity, communication and normal workplace socialization, and much of this software remains in use.  

Aljamea admitted that STC had not taken the importance of on-line learning capabilities and tools quite as seriously before the pandemic, but that has changed as a result of the pandemic.

 

 

As a company, STC provided free access for learning platforms for people studying at home and supplied more than 40,000 free SIM Cards for those who needed them. 

“We also provided access for people who were quarantined during the pandemic,” Aljamea said. “We tried as a company, as a kingdom and as a government to provide access to our citizens during the pandemic and to do the job right, because this was very important for us.”  

Aljamea also pointed out that STC, in collaboration with the government, donated recycled laptops to students who did not have them to ensure education could continue uniformly and to reduce the gap in the educational resources among students.

When asked about how teachers were forced to train and adapt to online learning, Aljmaea replied that compared to corporate training where trainers were more familiar with the most up-to-date methods, teaching general education teachers was a significant challenge at first. She said that considerable training was required and implemented in teaching online. It was not known how long online education would continue, so great reliance was placed on feedback and trial and error to optimize training methods as the situation developed. In this way, considerable progress was made.

In terms of the impact of social media reducing the online attention span of learners of all ages, Aljamea responded thatthey are experimenting with animation, optimizing the time periods for teaching individual items of information at one sitting, and innovating software design. However, more work needs to be done on this in Saudi Arabia, as elsewhere in the world.

G1 sets itself out as “a forum for the leaders of the next generation to gather, discuss, and paint a vision for the rebirth of Japan in a turbulent world.”


Saudi Arabia to cut oil output in July, extend OPEC+ voluntary cut until end of 2024

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2023.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2023.
Updated 04 June 2023

Saudi Arabia to cut oil output in July, extend OPEC+ voluntary cut until end of 2024

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2023.
  • OPEC+ member countries agreed a new output target of 40.46 million bpd from 2024

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will extend its voluntary cut of 500,000 bpd until the end of December 2024, in coordination with some countries participating in the OPEC+ agreement, the Kingdom’s energy ministry said on Sunday.

This voluntary reduction from the required production level was agreed upon at the OPEC+ meeting held on Sunday, the ministry added.

The ministry also announced an additional voluntary oil output cut of 1 million bpd for July, which could be extended further.

This would mean that the Kingdom’s production becomes 9 million bpd, and its total voluntary cut will be 1.5 million bpd in July, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry said the additional voluntary cut comes to reinforce the precautionary efforts made by OPEC+ countries that aim to support the stability and balance of oil markets.

OPEC+ member countries also agreed a new output target of 40.46 million bpd from 2024, a statement issued by the group said.


Saudi Arabia, China contemplate energy security through petrochemical JVs

Saudi Arabia, China contemplate energy security through petrochemical JVs
Updated 04 June 2023

Saudi Arabia, China contemplate energy security through petrochemical JVs

Saudi Arabia, China contemplate energy security through petrochemical JVs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and China are collaborating to ensure safe energy supplies in their markets by planning to establish petrochemical joint ventures.

Saudi Minister of Energy Abdulaziz Al-Saud held a meeting with the chairman of the National Energy Authority of the Republic of China, Zhang Jianhua, in Riyadh to discuss JVs that will transform crude oil into petrochemicals and develop innovative uses of hydrocarbons, nuclear energy and fuel. 

Both nations are working to increase collaboration in the energy sector’s supply chains. 

Al-Saud and Zhang also discussed ways to boost ties between the countries in numerous energy fields, which will help achieve the goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

Further collaborations between both countries are anticipated as the Kingdom is set to host the 10th session of the Arab-Chinese Business Conference and the eighth Investment Symposium. 

Set to take place between June 11 and 12 in Riyadh, the conference is expected to be the largest Arab-Chinese gathering for business and investment. 

It will host over 2,000 participants, including high-level government representatives, senior officials, CEOs, investors and entrepreneurs.

“Collaborating for Prosperity” aims to boost cooperation in the economy, trade and investment to achieve solutions of mutual interest to Arab nations and China through strategic collaboration. 

It is organized by the Kingdom’s investment and foreign affairs ministries in partnership with the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade and several government agencies. 

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that trade and cultural ties between Arab countries and China extended over 2,000 years and that the conference reflected that historical relationship. 

He added that Saudi-Chinese relations had developed, especially following King Salman’s visit to China in 2017 and the two historic visits by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing in 2016 and 2019. 

Trade in 2022 between the Arab countries and China reached SR1.6 trillion ($430 billion), a 31 percent increase from the previous year. 

Saudi Arabia led the way with trade between the countries reaching around SR400 billion ($106 billion), a 30 percent increase over 2021.  


PIF-owned Riyadh Air receives designator code from IATA

PIF-owned Riyadh Air receives designator code from IATA
Updated 4 min 38 sec ago

PIF-owned Riyadh Air receives designator code from IATA

PIF-owned Riyadh Air receives designator code from IATA
  • Riyadh Air unveils first of two liveries

RIYADH: Marking a significant milestone for Saudi Arabia’s new world-class carrier as it prepares to start operations, Riyadh Air secured the “RX” designator code from the International Air Transport Association.  

Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas made this announcement at the IATA’s 79th annual general meeting being held in Istanbul, Turkiye.  

“We are delighted to announce that we have obtained ‘RX’ as our IATA code, which will be on every touch point that our guests see as they take flight with us. The code reflects our ambition to be a digitally led airline, having the connection of innovation and state-of-the-art technology,” Douglas said.  

The new airline also unveiled the first of two liveries it will deploy as preparations continue for its launch of flights in 2025.

It released a video on social media on Sunday illustrating its livery. Owned entirely by the Public Investment Fund, Riyadh Air was inaugurated in March, with a vision to transform the Kingdom’s capital into a global hub for travel and trade.  

The airline, gearing up to start operations by early 2025, confirmed an order of 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners the same month, and is anticipated to order another 150 Boeing 737 Max soon.  

“Riyadh Air has made another strategic milestone toward its operations in 2025, and we are so excited for our guests to be able to travel to over 100 destinations with our code on their bag tags, booking documents and digital services,” Douglas added.   

The airline aims to leverage Saudi Arabia’s strategic positioning, linking the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. This initiative will stimulate economic growth and diversification in the Kingdom, creating over 200,000 job opportunities, both directly and indirectly.

Riyadh Air was founded to bolster the Kingdom’s national aviation strategy as well as the broader national transport and logistics strategy, aligning with the ambition to achieve Vision 2030 objectives.  

“It has been an absolute pleasure to be on the ground at the IATA AGM. The Riyadh Air team is able to meet with industry stakeholders and experts to discuss safe, efficient and technologically advanced topics in the global air travel industry,” Douglas stated.  

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Saudi Arabia to sign deals to promote Egyptian investment in industrial, mining sectors

Saudi Arabia to sign deals to promote Egyptian investment in industrial, mining sectors
Updated 04 June 2023

Saudi Arabia to sign deals to promote Egyptian investment in industrial, mining sectors

Saudi Arabia to sign deals to promote Egyptian investment in industrial, mining sectors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to sign two agreements with Egypt to boost the North African country’s participation in the Kingdom’s industrial and mining sectors in line with Vision 2030.
During his visit to Egypt, Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef expressed the Kingdom’s keenness to facilitate Egyptian investors.
It is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to bolster the role of the mining and industrial sectors in the national economy and increase their contribution by attracting foreign investment.
According to Alkhorayef, the first agreement seeks to “preserve commercial activity between the two countries and reduce obstacles, as well as finance exports through the Saudi Export Bank.” 
He said the other agreement would form a partnership with some Egyptian companies specialized in targeted activities in the Kingdom. 
On Saturday, the minister began his official tour to Egypt to discuss bilateral relations and explore opportunities to enhance cooperation in the industry and mining sectors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.  
Alkhorayef is accompanied by Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Osama Al-Zamil.   
He met with various government officials and investors in the industrial and mining sectors from both countries and visited several factories.  
“There are many opportunities that we see when it comes to the collaboration between us and our brothers in Egypt that will help accelerate the projects that are being built in those sectors,” noted the minister.  
Last year, the volume of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports to Egypt exceeded SR11 billion ($2.9 billion), while imports totaled SR10 billion.   
The Kingdom’s primary exports to Egypt included petrochemicals, building materials, and medicines, while key imports comprised food products, heavy machinery and electronics.   
On Sunday, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir said that trade exchange between countries surged 23.9 percent in 2022 to reach $5.6 billion.  
He said the year ended with $6 billion worth of Saudi investments in Egypt and $1.6 billion of Egyptian investments in the Kingdom.  
Alkhorayef said: “The trade between both countries is witnessing growth, but the aspirations of the leadership are much bigger.”


Closing bell: Saudi bourses begin week on a positive note

Closing bell: Saudi bourses begin week on a positive note
Updated 04 June 2023

Closing bell: Saudi bourses begin week on a positive note

Closing bell: Saudi bourses begin week on a positive note

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index began the week positively, gaining 207.01 points, or 1.88 percent, to close at 11,221.96. 

While parallel market Nomu edged up 25.16 points to 21,513.36, the MSCI Tadawul Index increased 2.16 percent to close at 1,490.24. 

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Sunday was SR4.37 billion ($1.17 billion) as 179 stocks advanced, while 34 retreated.

The best performer of the day was National Gas and Industrialization Co., whose share price surged 10 percent to SR68.20. 

Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Co. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. were other top gainers, whose share prices increased by 9.86 percent and 5.23 percent, respectively. 

Meanwhile, the telecom firm, which announced its fiscal year result ending on March 31, 2023, reported a net profit of SR42.47 million, compared to a net loss of SR37.40 million in the same period of the previous year. 

The worst performer of the day was Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co., whose share price dipped by 5.15 percent. 

In another development, shareholders of Fesh Fash Snack Food Production Co. approved the board of directors’ recommendation to pay a cash dividend of 15 percent, or SR1.5 a share, for 2022. 

Earlier in March, the company had reported a net profit of SR1.5 million for 2022, up 10 percent compared to 2021. Its share price remained unchanged at SR160. 

Meanwhile, Al-Babtain Power and Telecommunication Co. shareholders approved the board’s recommendation to pay a 5 percent cash dividend, or SR0.50 a share, for 2022.