GEA launches largest program yet to discover local talent in Saudi Arabia

The program aims to discover and help develop local talents, especially in fields that reflect Saudi Arabian culture. (AFP)
Updated 10 February 2019

GEA launches largest program yet to discover local talent in Saudi Arabia

  • There are currently 20 categories that people can choose to enter
  • The winners will be announced in October

JEDDAH: The chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), Turki bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Sheikh, launched a new national program to unearth young, entertaining talents called “GEA Challenges” on Wednesday.
The program aims to discover and help develop local talents, especially in fields that reflect Saudi Arabian culture.
There are currently 20 categories that people can choose to enter, including music, comedy, graffiti art and acting, whilst the GEA have also said that they are open to suggestions for further categories, should there be sufficient demand for them.
Successful applicants will receive part of a fund of SR20 million ($5.3 million) to train and take their talents to an international audience. The winners of each category will receive SR500,000, with the second-placed candidates winning SR300,000 and those in third place netting SR200,000.
Entry applications will open on Wednesday, Feb. 6 through the program’s website, and successful applicants will be evaluated and nominated for the live stage between May 1 and June 31. Live performances and judging will be held between July 1 and Aug. 31, after which the public will be allowed to vote for their favorite. The winners will be announced in October.
Registration forms, a full list of the categories currently on offer, and all terms and conditions, copyrights and other information can be found on the program’s website: geachallenges.com


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

Updated 28 min 34 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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