Riyadh, Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, presiding over virtual and extraordinary meeting with his counterparts of the G20 member states, stressed that the world has been forced to carry out various preventive and precautionary measures to combat and contain Coronavirus pandemic, including closing educational institutions, leading to changing spontaneous and conventional mechanisms of our educational systems.
This was unfolded as the minister presided over the meeting, hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the president of the G20. He also conveyed greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH Crown Prince to the delegations taking part, in the meeting, pointing out that the meeting is taking place, not only out of necessity but also to bring about hope, as it spotlights on what have been achieved, in our countries and to keep cooperating ahead as an international community dedicating its endeavors to back up education system, worldwide.
Drawing attention to the virtual meeting of the G20, he said the it discussed collective commitment, as ministers of education, to mitigate the unprecedented impact due to the Coronavirus pandemic on education systems, along with exchange of expertise and applicable approaches, in the member states.
He also indicated an array of structurally, fiscally and socially effective initiatives based on policies set by education leaders to alleviate disorders resulting from the pandemic, appreciating G20 contribution of a great percentage of these solutions, explaining the significance of collective efforts exerted to guarantee continuation and resilience, during the outbreak of the pandemic, as well as working together to set forth educational systems to deal with the future crises.
The minister presented a brief narration of the path the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia marched on to overcome the fallouts caused by the pandemic on the educational process, since the Coronavirus outbreak, all over the world, pointing that the ministry of education has promptly moved in advance to guarantee continuation of education to face off a possible spread and begun setting up contingency plans and awareness campaigns to be carried out following suspension of tuition and closing academic institutions comprising as many as 8.4 million male and female pupils.
Shedding light on the Saudi experiment on distance education as solutions and mechanisms of it have been put at avail of all male female students, in the Kingdom, he said that has taken place through the interactive national education portal, which witnessed over 53 million visits and the YouTube Ein educational channel, witnessing 61 million viewers of its recorded lessons.
It further provided them with 20 TV channels presenting recorded lessons suiting all students’ categories, across the Kingdom, pointing out that the ongoing and gradual back up 8 million-hour long content of tuition, 3 million digitally-administered content and 3.5 million virtual classrooms, have not stopped.
Minister of Education drew attention that to guarantee fair access for all, measures to fill the digital gap, in local communities, have been carried out, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and that the communications companies, for their part, have provided students with 30,000 tablets, in addition to free packages of the Internet data, for accredited educational platforms, and furnished 100,000 SIM chips.
The experiment, the minister added, was very fruitful as we learnt a lot during carrying out these solutions, which were mainly based on the essentially strong infrastructure, a system of resilient tuition syllabus with its mechanisms and timetables, as well as a comprehensive and concerted response by the ministry to meet the needs of all stakeholders, in addition to the presence of communications systems and good contact.
There are also the plain and well organized plans to get out and recover from the crisis, he stated, calling for increasing investing in the e-education infrastructure and approaches of digital education to devise the methods, based on age and selecting appropriate subjects, and furthermore, simultaneous and non-simultaneous provision of education platforms, taking into consideration the ability and potential of students to access the Internet and computers as well as assessing education outputs, before and following the pandemic.
He also referred to the significance of the family role in backing up distance education, taking into account promoting the framework of the general education, standards and prerequisites that add to the prowess of education outputs.
Al Al-Sheikh drew attention that through continuation of cooperation, exchange of experience and sharing the best practices, we will build stronger and more resilient educational systems that would guarantee cautious accessibility to good education, especially, during emergency and crisis times.
The meeting witnessed participation of the G20 ministers of education, who for their part, expressed significance of sharing and tackling the main themes that underscore the importance of the stage the world experiencing today and adopting alternative experiments forcing all, under the Coronavirus pandemic, to be taken into consideration, to guarantee the safety of our boys and girls, reasserting seeking integration of all components that would contribute to developing educational process, in the G20 member states and realize the objective towards establishing ongoing, developed and participating education, in the economic development.
Participants in the meeting, have also discussed several themes that underline the importance of continuing exerting efforts to back up world education systems, reactivating distance education systems and supporting the infrastructure for continuous educational process, in the future, in addition to providing male and female students, parents or guardians and teachers, with all psychological and social backup and providing fiscal support for education, in areas that in need for intensive efforts be exerted, in order to promote educational services, out there.
Source: Saudi Press Agency