Distance learning in Saudi Arabia may continue even after coronavirus: Minister

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Students in Saudi Arabia may still be required to attend online classes a few days per week even after the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom’s Minister of Education Hamad bin Mohammed al-Asheikh said in an interview on al-Ekhbariyah TV.

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Certain subjects will continue to be taught online rather than in-person, he added.

“Even if students return to school, there will still be some health requirements. A teacher might have to teach a class from a distance one day a week, so that cases don’t rise,” the minister said.

Distance learning will also make attending school easier for students who have to travel during the academic year because it will allow them to join classes remotely, al-Asheikh said.

The curriculums will be structured in an organized and efficient way to ensure students receive the best possible education through distance learning and in-person classes, he added.

In early March, Saudi Arabia suspended all schools, universities, and educational institutions, and moved classrooms online in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus.

The Kingdom started the current academic year in late August with thousands of students and teachers signing up to use the new Madrasati (My School) online platform.

The platform allows teachers to set up virtual classes and offers students the ability to create presentations, view educational videos, and access textbooks and courses online.

A 24-hour hotline and artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot was also set up for students, parents, and teachers, in order to facilitate the learning process.

Several TV channels were designated for students who have poor internet connection.

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