Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Monday, Oct 02, 2023

How AI and remote learning platforms are transforming education in the Middle East

How AI and remote learning platforms are transforming education in the Middle East

Remote and hybrid forms of learning used during the pandemic are now considered the future of education; Schools and online platforms are adopting new digital tools to augment and enhance their teaching.

  • The edtech market in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow from about $3.5 billion in 2019 to more than $7.6 billion by 2027.
  • In Saudi Arabia alone, the e-learning market reached $1.6 billion in 2021, with forecasts suggesting it will more than double by 2027.
Technological advancements are transforming the way young people in the Middle East are taught as traditional educational systems adapt to new tools, techniques and teaching arrangements.

Remote and hybrid forms of learning became commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic to help maintain uninterrupted schooling. Now, such arrangements are considered the future of education.

In fact, many schools have taken digital learning beyond the combined physical and online teaching model by introducing classes through artificial intelligence.

Private tutoring and online tutor banks are likewise adopting the latest technologies in AI, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics and blockchain.

“School students have started using AI. Its usage is a certainty and its capability to tackle complex numerical problems in physics, chemistry and math is appreciable,” Imbesat Ahmad, CEO and co-founder of Filo, an instant-tutoring app, told Arab News.

While AI adoption in schools in the Middle East is still in its infancy, Ahmad believes the technology has significant advantages when used as an assistive tool.

According to a recent report, titled “Middle East and Africa EdTech and Smart Classroom Market Forecast to 2027,” published by ReportLinker, the market for these tools in the MEA region is expected to grow from about $3.5 billion in 2019 to more than $7.6 billion by 2027.

In Saudi Arabia alone, the e-learning market reached $1.6 billion in 2021, with forecasts suggesting it will more than double in size by 2027.

Another report, “Saudi Arabia E-Learning Market: Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027,” compiled by IMARC Group, says the sector will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.05 percent during the same period.

“Traditional classrooms in many ways have undergone a sea change,” said Ahmad. “They are no longer bound by a whiteboard and 2D figures and teachers are using videos to explain certain topics better.”

Indicative of this trend is the launch this year of KITMEK, the Middle East’s first interactive digital school taught by an AI teacher. Operating exclusively in a game-based metaverse, it offers students a global curriculum from kindergarten to grade 5 for just $1 a month.

“The future is digital schooling and AI teachers as they can deliver the highest quality education, customized to the child’s learning capabilities,” Anand Kadian, CEO of KITMEK, told Arab News.

“All sectors have had a digital revolution and now it’s time for the education system to evolve.”

In addition to covering core curriculum subjects, the online school gives students the option of taking additional classes on phonics, life skills, communication skills and financial literacy.

Students can earn coins during their classes by answering questions correctly, which they can later use to play games on the platform.

“Children can learn and relearn at their own pace as well as easily access lower grades to revise any topic they want,” said Kadian.

The curriculum includes four exams per grade and is based on a growing multilingual system. Accessible on a basic phone with no Internet connection, the platform also offers underprivileged children free education through its sponsorship program.

Up to 70 percent of children in lower- and middle-income countries are deemed to be in “learning poverty,” meaning they lack a basic age-10 literacy, according to UNESCO, UNICEF and World Bank research.

“Children going to school can use this platform for tuition and for ones who cannot afford to go to school, this becomes a home school,” said Kadian.

However, despite recent advancements in AI technologies in the sector, educators remain hesitant about scrapping classroom teaching altogether.

“While AI learning is certainly a growing trend in education, it should not be viewed as a replacement for traditional teaching methods,” Manal Hakim, co-founder and CEO of Geek Express, a MENA-based online coding school, told Arab News.

A proponent of using AI technology only as an assistive tool, she said “it can enhance the learning experience and provide personalized learning opportunities, but it cannot fully replace human teachers.”

At Geek Express, students can learn to develop video games, websites, apps and AI models by attending coding courses and programming camps across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The online tech school, which holds a K-12 accredited curriculum, offers live and interactive courses where students are able to join Microsoft-certified trainers on Zoom to develop their own projects in a student-centered, gamified learning journey.

As the market for these tools continues to grow in the Middle East and Africa, Hakim thinks it is highly probable that online learning will become an established component of the education system.

“The integration of online learning and classes into educational curriculums will require collaboration between educational institutions, edtech companies and policymakers to ensure that the technology and content are effective and meet the needs of students,” she said.

To facilitate a swift transition from traditional to digital teaching models, Hakim says educational institutions could incorporate online learning platforms and tools into their existing curriculums to offer blended learning options for students.

This would involve a combination of traditional face-to-face classes and online learning activities, such as virtual classrooms, discussion forums and video lectures.

Hakim also says schools could offer the option of online courses to students who prefer remote study. This could be achieved through collaborations with edtech companies and online learning platforms by licensing the technology and developing customized solutions.

“These courses and programs can be designed to meet the same learning objectives and outcomes as traditional in-person courses,” she said.

Despite the lifting of pandemic restrictions, many students continue to rely on private online tutoring lessons, practice exams and on-demand learning to help improve their grades and meet their educational goals.

“The trend of students opting for private classes outside of school is likely to persist in the coming years due to the increasing competitiveness of academic environments and the desire for students to gain an advantage over their peers,” said Hakim.

Filo made its entry into the education space during the pandemic by providing access to one-on-one personalized learning in real time.

“In a period where traditional learning was at a standstill, the platform provided student access not only to an ‘academic expert’ but also to a ‘domain expert’ that strategically planned their courses for uninterrupted study as well as an ‘academic counselor’ that continually monitored a student’s progress and provided real-time feedback in areas where they needed to improve,” said Ahmad, the Filo CEO.

He said as the edtech landscape evolved over the past three years, synchronous learning emerged as the go-to mode of education for students — an approach supported by parents.

Offering students access to the largest tutor community worldwide, composed of more than 60,000 teachers, Filo claims to be serving about 3.5 million students globally and conducting more than 70,000 classes daily.

“The platform connects students to a live tutor within 60 seconds, allowing them to overcome academic hurdles in real time, 24/7, throughout the week and even on Sundays,” said Ahmad.

Since the platform’s launch in 2020, several educational trends have become evident, according to him. “Student behavior has evolved from asking specific questions or numerical problems to also requesting the tutors to explain the entire concept,” he said.

“They are going as far as to say, let us explain it to the tutor to fully know whether we have understood the concept thoroughly,” demonstrating the advantage of one-to-one tutoring, which is often unavailable in traditional classrooms.

Referring to a learning format that allows students to complete courses in a shorter period of time compared with a traditional semester, Ahmad said: “I believe accelerated learning will be adapted by teachers soon. We can expect it to become a trend.”

Related Articles

Arab Press
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Engulfed in Flames Amidst a Firestorm of Protests
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Today, we're unveiling the splendor of one of Saudi Arabia's most exclusive and stunning retreats – the Jeddah Yacht Club
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Hospitalized Due to Dehydration Amidst Summer Heatwave
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Saudi Arabia Joins the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia
The Renowned Crown Prince Camel Festival Set to Return to Taif on Aug. 1
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
An Ominous Shift in Warfare: Western Powers Risk War Crimes and Violate International Norms with Cluster Bomb Supply to Ukraine
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Tensions Escalate as Iran Challenges Saudi Arabia's Sovereignty over Al-Durrah Gas Field
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
Saudi Arabia and China Forge New Frontiers in Space Exploration
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
Corruption in the European Parliament - Business as usual
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
Paris Suburb Grapples with Violence as Curfew Imposed: Saint-Denis Residents Express Dismay and Anger
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections