‘Remote learning is one of the greatest opportunities’: Saudi expert

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Time: 26 November 2020

Raising awareness about remote learning is important, says Abeer Hassan, an educationist

MAKKAH: Saudi society has been torn between the pros and cons of remote learning, which has laid the foundations of a new technological era.
“Remote learning is one of the greatest opportunities,” noted education expert, Abeer Hassan, the director of the innovation club at King Saud University.
“Analysis of the educational developments currently taking place around the Arab world … within the scope of remote working are the most significant evidence of (its) success, through the adoption of its models and the exchange of skills,” she added.
“Although we have been greatly successful, there are still some shortcomings such as the high financial costs, some communities not accepting this type of education, and some people refusing to replace teachers with television,” Hassan added.
“Awareness raising and highlighting the pioneering role of remote learning are of great importance. The first signs of its success are found in the continuous dynamic developments we are witnessing in the remote learning system,” she pointed out.
Nasser Bukhari, a parent, said that “remote learning burdened the families that now have to monitor their children throughout the year. Many families are now suffering due to the negative repercussions of students using tablets and mobile phones for long hours.
“This issue has affected their ability to focus,” he added, noting that “what characterized remote learning is that it helped families learn about technology and applications, shortened distances and vanquished the pandemic that took over the world.
“Remote learning helped preserve the health of Saudi Arabia’s citizens and residents. It was a courageous decision … that was lauded by all the beneficiaries, who clearly contributed to the harnessing of this technology, which might still be used even after the pandemic ends,” Bukhari added.
Waleed Shanaq, a student at Makkah’s Ali bin Abi Taleb High School, stressed that “remote learning was a wonderful idea, through which students were able to interact and complete their assignments since day one. This is a great platform that has diversified the means of learning.
“Remote learning is not a good decision when it come to all the subjects, as mathematics, physics and chemistry require an attendance in person. As for the other subjects, it would be a good idea to keep providing them remotely even after the pandemic ends,” he added.
“One of the problems facing remote learning is the indifferent students that are hard to monitor. This technology requires a quality of students who are aware of this technological and educational change, which demands an educational and moral commitment,” Shanaq said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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