‘Chaotic taxi industry needs to be overhauled’

Updated 12 March 2015

‘Chaotic taxi industry needs to be overhauled’

The taxi industry in the country needs to be regulated further because the current situation is causing chaos on local roads including traffic jams and tragic accidents, citizens and experts said here recently.
They said there are too many taxis roaming around in cities, with many drivers often breaking traffic laws. Drivers also do not abide by 68 regulations for those transporting members of the public, which includes wearing uniforms and cleaning their cars, they said.
The government should consider setting up special areas where taxi drivers must park, and where they can be contacted by telephone if needed. They should also be restricted to certain times at hospitals, universities and markets, they said.
In addition, taxi drivers should be forced to undergo training so that they can deal professionally with customers, and learn how to use roads maps. The government must also set up a joint stock company to oversee the industry, which could provide a reservation system by telephone.
Abdullah Al-Aqeel, former vice president of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the current situation where drivers roam around looking for customers is contributing to traffic jams, pollution and accidents.
He said the government should allocate certain set parking areas for taxis, and force companies to provide services on demand. There must be an overhaul of traffic legislation to protect citizens, residents and companies, he said.
Khalid Al-Hamoud, who works in the education sector, said the industry must create a situation where taxis are called only when needed because they are causing problems on the nation’s roads.
This system is currently in place at Saudi Aramco and the royal commission’s residential compounds, where customers call for taxis. “This is good for the environment, more organized, professional and safe,” he said.
Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Sennan, a citizen, said an additional problem is that many expatriate drivers work for long hours on the roads to make more money, but this tires them and results in many accidents.
Al-Sennan said that Saudi youth must be encouraged to take up jobs in this sector. It was important to overhaul the industry because it determines how foreigners view the country.
“The Kingdom receives millions of pilgrims and visitors to the holy cities every year, so the work of taxi drivers should be more organized. Drivers must not be allowed to work for more than eight hours a day,” he said.


Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

Updated 23 October 2020

Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

JEDDAH: Six international organizations have completed two studies on e-learning in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in providing a rapid response, multiple options and continuous improvement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The studies involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.
The center said that the global organizations completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop e-learning practices in accordance with current global practices and standards.
The studies were conducted with the participation of students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the US.
The second study was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education.
In the studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries. The two studies showed the Kingdom’s distinction in the diversity of options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education.

NUMBER

342k

The studies on e-learning involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.

The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing these at the national level was only 38 percent.
The study conducted by the OECD and the Harvard Graduate School of Education included a comparison of the Kingdom’s response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states.
The results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of
these countries.
The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to e-learning.
The study of public education indicated that there was a clear strategy for the Ministry of Education to reopen schools in the Kingdom and address any issues.
OLC hailed the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis by providing a variety of options for e-learning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction.
The two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education.
The National Center for e-Learning is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and begin their implementation.
The center announced that the organizations that conducted the studies would publish their results and complete the second phase at the end of the current semester.