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EF partners with Saudi education ministry

Riyadh, December 14, 2013

Education First (EF), a world leader in language training for business, government and the education sector, has signed a key partnership agreement with Saudi Arabia's Tatweer Company for Educational Services Company (T4EDU).

It is a Saudi government-owned company dedicated to education development which was initiated by King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz development project.

The partnership which focuses on training English teachers across the Kingdom follows the announcement by the Ministry of Education (MoE) of its newly-established K-12 education development strategy, said a statement from Tatweer.

This identifies English language skills as a key competence and priority for the country's economic future and prosperity in the global market place.

The strategy includes implementing English at a very early stage (4th grade) of the K-12 program to enable children and young adults to learn and grow into responsible and productive citizens, it stated.

"The Ministry is making major investments in language training", said Dr Sami Alshwairkh, the director of ELT development initiative at T4EDU, because it recognizes that "English skills are a crucial component of the foundation on which companies and careers are built. It is more essential than ever before for effective collaboration across borders and gives accessto valuable resources, knowledge and opportunities globally."

 The Kingdom's Education system currently employs over 27,000 English teachers in its middle and high school levels, and is set to expand further for the elementary levels in the coming year.

Having enrolled 2,000 English language teachers to EF's online school as a first step in the three-year contract, Dr Alshwairkh praised the partnership: "We were looking for a strong English training partner, with a track record of successful implementation of large-scale online professional development programs. EF has the capacity and a high quality methodology within each element of speaking, listening, reading and writing. As an already established English training partner with several governmental partnerships, we are confident that EF can deliver."

The partnership has drawn on EF's own in-house team of over 300 developers, design, artificial intelligence, content and linguistic specialists.
This has resulted in over 2,000 hours of customized learning content that aligns closely with Saudi culture and values while maintaining the same quality and effectiveness of EF's award-winning teaching methodology.

Jesper Knutell, the VP at EF Corporate Language Learning Solutions, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen as an exclusive language partner of the K-12 education strategy".

"We are unique in that we can very easily scale our resources to address the entire population of teachers identified by both T4EDU and the Ministry of Education," he added.

EF already enjoys several partnerships with various government entities to help thousands of teachers and students in language training, including with the Republic of Tatarstan (Russia) and, in Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Electronic University.-TradeArabia News Service




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