Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

Online learning platform to be used at UAE public schools

40,000 pupils at 196 schools will have access to Alef Education’s platform

A pupil learns using Alef Education's online platform. The system is being implemented at almost 200 public schools across the UAE. Courtesy: Expo 2020 Dubai
A pupil learns using Alef Education's online platform. The system is being implemented at almost 200 public schools across the UAE. Courtesy: Expo 2020 Dubai

An online learning platform will be launched in nearly 200 public schools across the UAE, allowing pupils to learn at their own pace at home.

Under an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Alef Education will implement its learning platform at 196 schools in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah by the end of the year.

Around 40,000 pupils will learn by watching videos, reading digital content and answering interactive questions.

The system uses artificial intelligence to track pupils' progress and will only move them on to the next lesson if they are able to answer enough questions correctly. The programme also produces reports that can be reviewed by teachers so they can determine if certain topics need to be covered again.

Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Education, said the move was part of the ministry's wider plan to incorporate more technology into the learning system. He said this would help enhance pupil's intellectual skills and "enable them to unravel their creative potentials”.

There are a number of ways that adults, particularly parents and teachers, can instil values of tolerance and acceptance in our children. Courtesy Alef Education  
Pupils use Alef Education's platform at Al Asayel School in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Alef Education

“The partnership ... will result in improved learning outcomes by creating an attractive learning environment that engages pupils and motivates them to gain further knowledge and to think critically, making learning more engaging for the future generations and a way to achieve success in their future lives,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

Schools across the country turned to distance learning this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers had to get creative and design lessons for pupils that could be accessed online.

The Alef Platform differs to typical online learning because the content is pre-prepared, based on the Ministry's curriculum.

Should a pupil appear to struggle with a concept, the system reroutes and presents the lesson again in a manner tailored to the pupil’s needs. Some children may appear to learn more from videos so the system will present the information visually instead.

Data and feedback is provided to teachers in real-time. Prior to Alef, teachers would have to wait for assessment results to track development.

The initiative aims to inject innovation into UAE’s educational system, reported state news agency Wam.

Alef Platform will be used to teach pupils in grades five to nine in the following subjects: Arabic, Mathematics, Science, Islamic Studies, Social Studies and English Language. It plans to cover grades 10 to 12 in the next academic year.

Monthly virtual sessions will be held for teachers to cover any upgrades on the platform.

Under the agreement, Alef Education will help expand IT infrastructure in schools in the northern emirates to support the programme and will train and support over 4,000 new teachers.

The platform launched in 2017 with a focus on public schools in Abu Dhabi. Since then more than 100,000 pupils in 150 public schools in Abu Dhabi and one public school in Fujairah have used the platform.

Updated: October 18, 2020 04:54 PM

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