Saudi, edX launch online course platform
Riyadh, July 16, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and EdX, a non-profit, open source enterprise offering online courses from more than 50 member institutions, have launched an open-platform ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) portal.
It has been designed to bridge the gap between education and employment in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world, said a statement.
The courses will being in September with a pilot programme for Saudi Arabian women, youth, the disabled and citizens in rural communities, it said.
The new e-learning portal is expected to enhance demand-led educational opportunities by providing the women, youth, disabled and citizens in rural communities with more accessible, high-quality education opportunities to advance their careers.
The initiative will be a MOOC portal, powered by edX’s open-source platform, for learners in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world to access online courses from some of the leading academic institutions worldwide.
Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih, Minister of Labor, said: "This initiative marks a significant turning point for the citizens of Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. By providing accessible, relevant, high-quality education opportunities for our citizens, we will empower our communities and educate citizens to have the skills to succeed professionally.
Maha Taibah, advisor to the Ministry of Labor on human capital development, said: "The private sector in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly and skilled workers are needed now more than ever to meet the rising demands. Women and youth, in particular, are well-positioned to contribute to this need by having access to high-quality vocational training in areas such as IT, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. We expect the initiative to create job opportunities and economic empowerment in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world."
The curriculum will include a combination of courses licensed from edX university members and translated into Arabic, as well as original courses developed exclusively for Arabic-speaking students. Additionally, the initiative will include a research component focused on learning through innovative technologies and R&D.
Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, said: "The Open edX platform initiative is a testament to the founding vision of edX to increase access to education for everyone, everywhere. Through extending educational opportunity to the people of Saudi Arabia, the initiative will help provide the skills necessary for economic empowerment.” - TradeArabia News Service