Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh underscored the role of the forum in creating a global educational community that seeks to discuss the best means to jointly build a stronger, better and bolder education, and how to achieve a more sustainable future for the local societies.
Dr. Al-Sheikh made these comments while delivering his country’s speech entitled: “Learning from Challenges,” at the opening session of the World Education Forum here on Monday.
Dr. Al-Sheikh praised the ambitious goals of his country’s Vision 2030 to strengthen the education system, prepare future generations of highly skilled and well-informed youth who embody national values and identity, qualify students to be active participants in the global community, prepare them for future jobs, and support them to achieve the full potential of human capital.
He indicated that the Ministry of Education has adopted strategic reforms that improve learning outcomes as well as the educational system's response to future labor market needs, in addition to careful planning and evidence-based decision-making, and the development of benchmarks to identify key challenges and policy responses.
Dr. Al-Sheikh discussed Saudi Arabia's experience in facing the repercussions of the coronavirus
pandemic that cast a shadow on education services in the entire world.
He added that the Kingdom was not an exception but was quick to adopt alternative plans to support the continuity of education while mitigating the potential risks of learning losses.
He noted that despite these challenges, the education reforms in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the investments made by the Kingdom before the spread of the pandemic laid a solid foundation for the ministry in responding to the crisis, which was handled as an opportunity to accelerate reform efforts.
The minister also reviewed the most prominent features of the Kingdom's success in e-learning and distance education, noting that the Ministry of Education supported the continuity of education through a rapid transition to distance learning to mitigate the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on education, through the establishment of the “Madrasati Platform for Distance Learning".
This benefited more than 6 million students, and provided synchronous and asynchronous learning, in addition to launching 25 educational channels covering all stages of education from kindergarten to high school, as well as creating the “Rawdati Interactive Learning Platform for Young Children,” and digitizing learning contents.