Unesco praised “the success of (Saudi Arabia’s) educational policies and their effectiveness in reducing the impact of the pandemic on education and the educational gap, as well as ensuring the quality of distance learning and … the comprehensiveness and fairness of the solution for all female and male students.”
It referred to a previous Unesco report, titled “National Distance Learning Programmes in Response to the Covid-19 Education Disruption: Case Study of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, which outlined urgent measures taken by Saudi Arabia in March 2020 to put distance learning programmes in place and ensure that all students had access.
The report not only lauded the Ministry of Education’s distance learning solutions for six million male and female students at public schools and universities, but also the fact that teachers and lecturers had already been trained in digital skills, and that content and educational platforms were ready.
The transition to distance learning was smooth, effective and highly efficient, it said.
Infrastructure Was in Place
Unesco attributed the success of distance learning in Saudi Arabia to the readiness of its infrastructure before the pandemic, the provision of large and diverse educational content linked to the curriculum, and the student-teacher information system that helps teachers follow up on students’ progress.”
Saudi authorities said the Madrasati platform, was a logical and intuitive learning management system that uses images and simplified language to encourage engagement with online learning. Another platform, called “Back to School”, provides educational guides and tools to promote effective online learning experiences.
The Unesco report said the Saudi Ministry of Education had also increased teachers’ and lecturers’ participation and provided guidance to parents via satellite television channels and the Back to School platform on how to improve their children’s learning from home. It also developed data protection and privacy protocols, along with solutions for assessments and tests.