Saudi entertainment authority says hit by cyberattack

A motorcyclist performs during a Monster Jam show which was organized by General Entertainment Authority in Riyadh on March 17, 2017. The GEA on Friday said its website had been the target of cyberattacks from outside the kingdom. (REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser)
Updated 17 November 2017

Saudi entertainment authority says hit by cyberattack

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA), which has begun sponsoring concerts and shows said on Friday its website had been the target of cyberattacks from outside the kingdom.
The GEA was set up last year as part of the Vision 2030 reform program to provide entertainment options for Saudis, who are accustomed to traveling abroad to see shows and visit amusement parks in nearby Dubai and further afield.
It said on Twitter it was working to end the attacks, which began early on Thursday, to prevent any impact to its website or social media accounts.
“The source of the subversive attacks, which aim to harm the authority and its efforts, is being identified,” it added.
The GEA organized a big program of concerts and performances last weekend for the 87th anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s foundation.
The festivities included a pageant operetta which allowed women to enter a sports stadium in Riyadh for the first time and a block party where men and women danced to music in a central street — drawing some criticism in the conservative Islamic kingdom where gender segregation is strictly enforced.
Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia put out an alert about the Shamoon virus, which cripples computers by wiping their disks, as the labor ministry had been attacked and a chemicals firm reported a network disruption.
(Reporting by Katie Paul)


Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

Updated 51 min 35 sec ago

Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

JEDDAH: Six international organizations have completed two studies on e-learning in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in providing a rapid response, multiple options and continuous improvement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The studies involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.
The center said that the global organizations completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop e-learning practices in accordance with current global practices and standards.
The studies were conducted with the participation of students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the US.
The second study was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education.
In the studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries. The two studies showed the Kingdom’s distinction in the diversity of options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education.

NUMBER

342k

The studies on e-learning involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.

The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing these at the national level was only 38 percent.
The study conducted by the OECD and the Harvard Graduate School of Education included a comparison of the Kingdom’s response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states.
The results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of
these countries.
The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to e-learning.
The study of public education indicated that there was a clear strategy for the Ministry of Education to reopen schools in the Kingdom and address any issues.
OLC hailed the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis by providing a variety of options for e-learning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction.
The two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education.
The National Center for e-Learning is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and begin their implementation.
The center announced that the organizations that conducted the studies would publish their results and complete the second phase at the end of the current semester.

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