Riyadh, Beijing launch ‘digital silk road’ initiative

Updated 15 December 2017

Riyadh, Beijing launch ‘digital silk road’ initiative

RIYADH: The Kingdom and China have launched the “Digital Silk Road” initiative.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Mishaigeh, undersecretary of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for Saudi Planning and Development, made the announcement during a Saudi delegation’s participation in the World Internet Conference, which concluded recently in Wuzhen City in China.
The name “Silk Road” comes from a historical network of trade routes started during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) between Europe, India, China and other countries on the Afro-Eurasian landmass.
The Saudi delegation also held a meeting with the National Development and Reform Commission to activate the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in January 2016.
The MoU was intended to promote and develop the “Digital Silk Road” as well as review the Chinese experience in building smart cities.
Al-Mishaigeh called on the Chinese to boost partnerships and benefit from Saudi investment and geographical capabilities to transfer knowledge and achieve progress in the field of technology, which the Kingdom is betting on as a knowledge economic resource.
Speaking at the conference, Al-Mishaigeh said that Saudi Arabia has started implementing the desired social and economic transformation in accordance with the Vision 2030 plan.
He said that the city of Neom will be the focus of artificial intelligence, automation, manufacturing and renewable energy in the world.
Neom is a $500 billion mega city on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, which is part of the national push to diversify the economy.
The 26,500 square meters zone will focus on industries including energy, water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said.
“Neom will attract private as well as public investments and partnerships. The zone will be backed by more than $500 billion over the coming years from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, local as well as international investors,” he said.
The Saudi delegation also visited the Huawei Research Center in Shanghai to learn about the latest technologies in infrastructure, smart cities and the Chinese experience in enabling the digital economy.
The conference was organized by the Chinese Electronic Space Administration and Zheijiang Province’s government with the participation of leading figures from governments, international organizations, companies, technical sector departments as well as non-government agencies.

 

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

Updated 47 min 29 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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