Dubai Future Foundation foresees future of distance learning

The report states that governments have been seeking to use innovative methods to ensure seamless transitions to learning from home

  

DUBAI- The Dubai Future Foundation, DFF, released the second issue from a series of reports to tackle the challenges that organisations in Dubai and the world will face once the COVID-19 global outbreak subsides.

The series comes during a crucial time, in which public and private sector organisations need to be well-prepared for future opportunities and challenges.

Titled "Life After COVID-19: Education", the report highlights how the education sector has been required to change rapidly in response to COVID-19. Schools and universities have been shut down due to the pandemic and education institutions have been obliged to offer distance learning platforms to students. UNESCO has developed a web page with educational applications and platforms to help parents, teachers and schools make use of distance learning, while providing a degree of social care and interaction during the period of schools being closed. "Other platforms, such as Coursera, are freely available globally to any university affected by COVID-19," according to DFF. The UAE was one of the first countries to implement precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. At an educational level, the UAE suspended all schools and universities and organised sterilising programmes for academic institutions and transportation companies.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority launched a platform called "In This Together", which is a new resource to help the education community take full advantage of online and distance learning. "Today, the education technology market continues to grow and its global size is expected to reach US$341 billion by 2025," the DFF report said, adding that a range of excellent platforms for education are currently available for self-study and distance learning via the Internet, such as Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org) and Edrak (https://www.edraak.org), and Madrasa, a leading e-learning platform (https://madrasa.org).

With regard to education, the report states that the UAE had already been paving the way for innovative methods of teaching and learning. "Had the crisis not occurred, this change might well have taken years of planning, prototyping and other steps, before being implemented.

It is estimated that the global education technology market is expected to grow at 18 percent CAGR to reach $40 billion by 2022, according to Valustrat, the Middle East’s leading consultancy and advisory group," it added. The report states that governments have been seeking to use innovative methods to ensure seamless transitions to learning from home, in an effort to maintain normal routines for children.

"In effect, this phase could be seen as a pilot project, as governments will be able to use this experience to develop and improve platforms for distance and life-long learning. As people are learning individually, systems are likely to become more personalised, focusing on the specific needs and interests of each student." "Post COVID-19, regulatory bodies in education may begin setting up more transformative changes to traditional schooling, developing innovative solutions, such as training parents as teachers, in order to change systems proactively, rather than reacting to unexpected circumstances. Additionally, as out-of-classroom learning becomes more widespread, students and parents will become more involved in designing both learning tools and the teaching curricula," the report noted.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.


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