The Kingdom’s public and private educational institutes are offering lessons online and through broadcast channels
The Kingdom of Bahrain is utilising its strength in digital connectivity to ensure that students remain able to continue their education even while studying from home. The government of Bahrain has created an education portal which allows schools and educational institutes to continue tuition through online portals and broadcast channels.
This follows a recent announcement by the Ministry of Education regarding the closure of educational institutions over the last four weeks, which has been extended until further notice as a precaution against the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Bahrain’s Ministry of Education together with the Kingdom’s Information & eGovernment Authority has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create a dedicated electronic education portal.
Currently, the portal is being used by 146,498 students and over 18,000 teachers and includes 372 e-books, 1030 educational units, 587 e-lessons, 273 educational materials, 754 sample questions and exams, 30793 exercises, 6582 lessons by school teachers. Parents can also use the system to follow up on the activities carried out by the schools, as per data from the Ministry of Education a total of 75,715 parents have accessed the portal, while school administrators can monitor the progress of students and teachers.
Mrs. Ahlam Al-Amer, Assistant Undersecretary for Curricula and Educational Supervision confirmed that the Ministry has taken many measures, in particular preparing and uploading numerous new lessons daily, educational materials, mock exams, activities and short videos to assist the students. The Ministry of Education has also partnered with the Ministry of Information Affairs to air the educational content from the 22nd of March as well as upload the video lessons onto YouTube for all students to be able to return to the content easily for revision.
The portal is powered by AWS, which recently opened its first Middle East data region in the Kingdom. AWS is also supporting the Bahraini government in its concerted shift to the cloud – the Kingdom has mandated the use of Cloud IAAS & SAAS across government, which assisted in the fast roll-out of nationwide distance learning. To put this into perspective, according to a recent study by Teacher Tapp, just one in six schools in the UK had the technology to set and receive work from pupils.
A centrally managed system – in which Ministries are empowered to work in close partnership with the private sector – means GCC countries such as Bahrain have activated solutions faster than nations where the education landscape is more fragmented. This, in addition to government-mandated use of the cloud, means the Kingdom has quickly been able to roll out a solution and ensure continuity of education nationwide. In Bahrain, in the midst of a global crisis, life goes on. Through technology and collaboration – whether across borders or across sectors – it can everywhere else too.