Saudi Arabia is likely to implement distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year also if the threat of the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The Education Ministry has conducted teacher competency tests to examine their ability to implement the new learning regulations remotely in September. The ministry said that it may continue the implementation of distance learning in the academic year if the Covid-19 virus spread continues.
Saudi Arabia implemented the online education in early March due to the outbreak of the virus. Six million Saudi students in general education and about 1.6 million university students have benefited from distance learning through various technical platforms and programmes, Gulf News reported.
Education Minister Dr Hamad Mohammed Al Sheikh said the experience gained in providing distance learning will help address the problem of school dropouts in the kingdom.
He said the kingdom started providing distance education years ago, but the online education systems were modernised recently to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
“These systems will continue to work even after the crisis to address the problems of school dropouts,” Dr Al Sheikh said during a virtual conference for the ministers of education in the Islamic world held by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ICESCO), last week.
In early May, the ministry said at least 1.4 million university students across the kingdom were able to take over 223,000 exams remotely.