Distance learning in UAE: ministry certifies more than 22,000 teachers

The announcement comes as schools and universities prepare to launch e-learning programmes next week

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, minister of education with pupils in Ajman. Reem Mohammed / The National
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The Ministry of Education, in co-operation with Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University, HBMSU, hosted more than 42,000 teachers and academic staff using a free e-training course.

How to be an online tutor in 24 Hours was designed to teach both local and international teaching and academic staff the skills to manage classrooms remotely and use other digital teaching tools.

More than 22,000 certificates were issued, an achievement that serves the goals of the national agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 to develop a world-class education system that invests in human capital in the areas of innovation, leadership and knowledge in the digital age.

Education Minister Hussain Al Hammadi said the ministry was adopting the best educational practices and organising distance learning programmes for teaching and administrative staff.

"Today, we are better prepared for the future, by creating a comprehensive and integrated electronic learning and training environment, which will realise the country's efforts to shift towards smart education and employ technological resources and educational competencies to serve the academic community," he said.

Dr Mansoor Al Awar, chancellor of HBMSU, said: “We are delighted at the fact that the university is among the first to support the distance learning initiative. We are offering our cumulative experiences, advanced technological capabilities, and knowledge and academic resources to serve the nation and academic community.”

Schools and universities across the UAE have closed for a month from March 8 as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The two-week spring break, which had been due to begin on March 29, started two weeks early, after which distance learning will be introduced during the remaining two weeks.

Pupils at government schools will study from home using a programme called Learn from Afar from March 22 to April 5.

Private schools were urged to set up their own distance learning systems or expand existing e-learning tools such as Google Classroom, ClassDojo and Seesaw.