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Virtual session tackles Jordanian experience with remote learning

By Maria Weldali - Apr 21,2020 - Last updated at Apr 21,2020

AMMAN — Minister of Education Tayseer Nueimi and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) Zaid Eyadat on Monday held a virtual dialogue session to discuss the Jordanian experience with remote learning.

“Remote learning is no new concept, but its requirements and challenges have quickened within the framework of what is happening across the globe due to the pandemic,” the minister expressed during the virtual dialogue session, organised by Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, via the video conferencing platform Zoom which was live-streamed on the foundation’s Facebook page.

The novel coronavirus has undoubtedly posed tremendous challenges to all sectors, including the educational sector, Nueimi noted, adding Jordan has taken the initiative of providing education remotely through televised lessons and virtual learning platform Darsak.

Among the essential resources for the success of the remote educational process is the skillsets of teachers that are necessary for virtual classrooms instructions, therefore the Ministry of Education (MoE) has established a platform that provides training courses for educators, to advance teachers’ skills in this unprecedented time.

“We do not claim that we have reached the ideal stage, but the components of the remote education system are integrating constantly,” Nueimi said.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, and its repercussions, particularly those related to information technologies, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, have been utilised in various sectors in an advanced way, except education and particularly public education, the CSS director said.

“Schools not only in Jordan but throughout the world continue to follow the traditional teaching methods,” he added.

Across the world, 92 per cent of student population in 188 countries are not attending schools due to coronavirus-related measures, so there are two choices: stop education or provide education remotely.

“About 61.5 per cent of students benefit whether from the ministry’s TV channels or learning platforms, and this is according to a poll conducted two weeks ago, so maybe the numbers have increased,” Eyadat noted.

Currently there are two main challenges, the first one is to reach all students and the second is to provide them with quality education, the CSS director said.

This is a “great experience” in difficult circumstances and challenges, but also there are immense gaps that need to be addressed, he added.

“This pandemic has revealed to us how distinguished Jordan’s learning experience is, together with the need to invest in education,” Eyadat expressed.

Concurrently with the CSS opinion poll, the MoE has conducted surveys of students, parents and educators on the current educational process . The ministry’s surveys showed that 78 per cent of students use the MoE’s TV channels and learning platforms.

“It is still early to judge this experience in all its details and yes we did not reach all students and this is something that we are working on,” the minister said.

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