UNESCO praises Saudi Arabia for keeping education going during COVID-19 lockdown

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Time: 08 October 2020  

UNESCO said lessons were available online within 10 hours of Saudi schools closing due to COVID-19 March. (SPA/File)
  • Report says Saudi Arabia’s transition to distance learning had been a “success story”.
  • Online lessons were available within 10 hours of schools closing

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s education ministry had been praised by UNESCO for measures it took to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

The report by the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said Saudi Arabia had “ensured the continuation of the remote educational process and maintained the safety for more than six million students in public schools and universities.”

The report focussed on the second semester of the last school year, as lock down measures went in to full force to stop the spread of COVID-19.

It detailed how Saudi Arabia successfully implemented emergency plans from February, which were continuously updated.

Specialized committees and work teams were formed “to ensure the readiness of the education and training system to produce results that guarantee the safety of education personnel,” UNESCO said.

The report said Saudi Arabia’s transition to distance learning had been a “success story”.

Online classes were set up within 10 hours of the decision to close schools in late March and lessons were broadcast via satellite on 20 TV channels.

They were also available on YouTube where views reached more than 61 million.

In higher education, 27 public universities hosted two million virtual classes and more than six million panel discussions.

This article was first published in Arab News

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