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Saudi eLearning Sector Reaches $125m

The Saudi Arabian eLearning industry is projected to reach $125 million in 2008 and is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 33 per cent over the next five years, according to a recent study conducted by Madar Research.

The growth is being driven by the Saudi Ministry of Education’s initiatives for the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the education sectors, including pilot eClassrooms in five secondary schools in Riyadh.

In line with its aims to increase awareness on the benefits of eLearning technologies, Edutech Middle East, a leading provider of technology-enabled learning solutions, has partnered with Saudi-based Effat College to organise the sixth annual Learning Technology Symposium at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel on April 26 and 27, 2008.

Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Queen Rania Al Abdullah will be delivering the keynote address at the event’s opening gala and dinner, which will also be attended by Princess Lolowah Al Faisal, vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees and General Supervisor, Effat College; and Prince Khalid Al Faisal, governor of Makkah Region and member of the Effat College Board of Trustees.

The strong support of key government officials for the adoption of eLearning programmes is evident in the considerable increase in KSA’s budget appropriation for education and manpower development, which has grown from SR96.7 billion ($25.7 billion) in 2007 to SR105 billion in 2008.

“Saudi Arabia fully appreciates the excellent advantages of embracing technology-powered methods, especially in educating its youth,” said CEO, Edutech, ASF Karim.

“The fervent keenness of its leaders to establish Saudi Arabia as a digital nation reflects upon their massive movements to adopt eLearning technologies across all educational institutions in the country. Through this symposium, we have joined hands with Effat College to exemplify how more advanced technologies can work for the development of the Saudi education system.”

As a leading figure in the regional eLearning industry, Edutech will share knowledge and best practice at the event’s conference sessions and workshops on topics ranging from virtual research, moderation skills for virtual classrooms, online testing assessments and blended learning methodologies to increase language proficiency.

Instructors, technical support specialists, researchers, administrators, government officials and policy makers in the K-12, postsecondary and corporate training sectors are expected to benefit from the wide array of new technologies and knowledge to be disseminated within the two-day event.

Among the high profile speakers at the plenary sessions include vice-president, Blackboard, David Sample who will discuss ‘Institutional Effectiveness and Student Engagement; and Majid Al-Ghaslan, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KSA), who will present a lecture entitled ‘Disruptive Technology in Higher Education - Future of Learning in a Networked World’.

Representatives from Edutech, including Knowledge Officer Shameema Parveen will be participating as a panellist in a discussion on ‘PeopleWare Upgrade’, along with Information Solutions BU Head Raghavendra, who will be conducting an ‘Edunet’ workshop during the event.

Along with Edutech’s products, which will be showcased at the event, the company’s team of consultants will provide insight on how technology is taking training to the next level and meeting learning and training requirements for academic institutions.

Edutech Middle East enables academic institutions to meet their learning and knowledge needs by combining years of experience with technology and content to deliver rapidly deployable knowledge solutions that facilitate faster learning cycles, increase access to information while reducing cost, efforts and investments.

It helps organisations build, manage and measure learning outcomes by providing solutions based on the comprehensive Knowledge Solutions framework that blends content and infrastructure into a single and seamless solution. – TradeArabia News Service

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