Saudi Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh expected on Sunday the beginning of a new era in education where “blended” courses would be the norm while the previous method would be the exception.
The coronavirus pandemic caused different problems for countries with different resources and different infrastructure, he told a media briefing on The Education Continuity in Times of Crises at the International Media Center in Riyadh.
“No one in the world had expected that 1.6 billion students would be outside of schools,” said the minister on the second and last day of the G20 Leaders Summit.
“Some countries have less resources and some don’t have the capability in order to launch satellite TV for their students or have a learning management system,” he added.
Al-Sheikh told journalists that Saudi Arabia used satellite transmission beside Madrasati, the learning management system, to guarantee the continuity of education during the pandemic.
He said six million students from public and private schools are using the same platform in Saudi Arabia to learn online.
But he expected "the beginning of a new era where blended education would become the norm, while the previous method would be the exception.”
The blended method means that students spend several days at school and at other days learn at home to limit the number of pupils and teachers in schools and to prevent spreading the coronavirus.
The concept of distant learning and e-learning has changed because of COVID-19. “So a crisis created an opportunity for the whole world,” said the minister.
This will lead to the internationalization of education, he added.