Riyadh, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has published on its official website a detailed report of the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in confronting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during the second semester of the last school year. The report highlights the Kingdom’s regional and global role in managing the crisis and its exceptional efforts to mitigate its effects. It also focuses on how the Ministry ensured the continuation of the remote educational process and maintained the safety for more than six million students in public schools and universities.
The report indicates the Ministry of Education’s success in implementing its internal emergency and crisis management plans since February 1, 2020. These plans were updated continuously, intensifying awareness and media campaigns, to prepare for any emergency in how to deal with the pandemic. In addition, there were specialized committees and work teams formed to ensure the readiness of the education and training system to produce results that guarantee the safety of education personnel.
The report also deals with the success story that was achieved by the rapid transition from in-person education to distance education, within 10 hours of the decision to close schools in late March. The iEN TV Channels started broadcasting lessons via satellite, eventually reaching up to 20 channels. The lessons were archived and available on YouTube where views have reached more than 61 million. In addition, the Unified Education System has achieved 19 million visits. The iEN Enrichment Portal has recorded four million educational sessions for two million users, and the virtual kindergarten application benefited 265,000 children in the Kingdom. In higher education, 27 public universities hosted two million virtual classes and more than six million panel discussions.
During the Spring 2020 Semester, these figures reveal the great efforts made by the Ministry of Education. It was expected that the numbers and results would be better with the beginning of the Fall 2020 Semester after the adoption of the Madrasati platform and the great successes it has achieved for all beneficiaries.
The report reviews the activation of plans and the launch of work teams in all sectors of education. The efforts upon which all components of the education sectors were based in great harmony, according to a unified general framework based on specific pillars. The efforts represented the technical strength of the infrastructure, the effectiveness of communication networks, and logistics services. It was dynamic to have data and procedures, a speedy response to emergency government situations, and the state’s support for the education and training sector. These had a great impact on development and sustainability. In addition, there was support and assistance to the government sector, the private sector, and the third “charitable” sector.
The report has also included an account of all the efforts exerted by the various components of the education, training, and research sectors that formed a homogeneous and integrated fabric with the rest of the state’s sectors. There was also a desire for the Kingdom to emerge from this crisis efficiently, with distinction and minimal damage.
Source: Saudi Press Agency