Published: 2018-09-18 10:23
Last Updated: 2018-09-18 11:05
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah launched the Edraak K-12 platform on Monday at the Edraak offices in Amman, which aims at addressing the region’s urgent need for free and accessible quality education materials, based on modern teaching methods in the Arabic language, Her Majesty’s office reported.
The Edraak K-12 platform, which caters to school-aged children throughout the Arab World, is an expansion of Edraak.org, the leading Arabic Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platform for adult learners.
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أطلقنا منصة إدراك للتعلم المدرسي اليوم لتساعد في سد حاجة ملحة لتعليم نوعي ومبني على طرق التدريس الحديثة، تعليم متاح للجميع ومجاني باللغة العربية #تعليم #الأردن #حب_الأردن Today we launched @edraakorg 's K-12 platform to help us meet the urgent need for free quality online education in Arabic #Education #Jordan #LoveJO
Talking to local and regional media, Queen Rania provided a brief about the platform’s new content, the technologies applied to it and future plans to improve it.
“We started by launching Math materials for grades six to twelve, but we are not stopping here because our students deserve much more than this,” she said, asking everyone to picture how the K-12 platform is likely to revolutionize learning for future generations.
“Today, the internet is replete with e-learning resources that students around the world can utilize in conjunction with their core school curricula as means for revision, practice, or learning support. Unfortunately, most of these resources are in English, and hence Jordanian and Arab students are likely to miss out,”’ she added.
Her Majesty added that the urgent need behind establishing Edraak K-12 platform was due to the lack of Arabic content on the internet, and that it was not easy for Jordanian and Arab students, parents and teachers to find suitable resources to match their school curricula.
Reforming education was a key element in Her Majesty’s speech, as she voiced the importance of creating a holistic approach in improving the educational process that includes infrastructure, training teachers, modernizing curricula and providing better early-childhood education.
“Education in Jordan and the region is in need of an overhaul. Reforming education requires focusing on multiple interconnected facets, including infrastructure, teacher training, curricula modernization, and early childhood education. Initiatives similar to Edraak K-12 are also an integral facet to the reform process,” she said.
Her Majesty confirmed that this reform will not be achieved overnight and needs everyone’s relentless efforts to speed up the process, noting that any delay in achieving this will be “at the expense of our children.”
“I have always said that when it comes to education, patience isn’t really a virtue because taking our time in improving our systems will come at the expense of our children,” she said.
Her Majesty urged guardians and teachers to encourage children to use the platform, which can be easily accessed on smartphones and tablets, adding that the platform was designed to help teachers in creating virtual classrooms, planning lessons, learning more about effective learning techniques and reducing the cost of private tutoring for parents, as they will be able to easily follow up on their children’s learning process.
“I urge parents and teachers to introduce their children and students to the world of online learning and encourage them to capitalize on the K-12 platform. After all, it was built for them,” she emphasized.
Her Majesty thanked Jordanian telecom companies for supporting the platform and their efforts in making it accessible to everyone with minimal consumption of internet bundles, and Samsung, which donated 100 tablets to help promote the platform.
Shireen Yacoub, Edraak CEO, explained how the platform provides a flexible learning tool for children, teachers and parents alike, by employing technology to enhance children’s skills to better contribute to the prosperity of society and Jordan, hoping to empower millions in the Arab world with high-quality education in the coming years.
“We are very proud of this Arab achievement that will support K-12 education in the region. We aspire to have Edraak become a part of every Arab learner’s journey, throughout its various phases. In the coming years, we hope to empower millions in the Arab world through high quality open online and blended education,” Yacoub said.
Edraak K-12 platform was developed as a joint effort between QRF and Google.org – Google’s philanthropic arm, for which Google employees will be providing tech development and product design expertise throughout 2018.
Currently, the platform is live with mathematics materials for grades six through twelve, while the same materials for grades kindergarten to five will be released later this year. The mathematics curricula alone will include over 1,200 instructional videos and 7,500 exercises that range in difficulty and leverage gamification to infuse fun with learning.
With support from the Jack Ma Foundation, which pledged 3 million USD to QRF in May of this year, Edraak will develop English language materials for grades seven through twelve by September of 2019.
Stemming from its mission to provide education for refugee and displaced children who are out of school due to regional conflict, Edraak will build on Google.org and QRF’s partnership to provide them with offline learning resources, and ensure equity in education access for those who only have intermittent internet access.