UAE establishes the largest free e-learning platform in Arab world

The Madrasa portal, the largest e-learning platform in the Arab world, which will benefit more than 50 million Arab learners.
Sunday 28/10/2018
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (R) browses through a booklet during the launch of the Madrasa portal in Dubai. (WAM)
A focus on quality. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (R) browses through a booklet during the launch of the Madrasa portal in Dubai. (WAM)

LONDON - The United Arab Emirates recently inaugurated the Madrasa portal, the largest e-learning platform in the Arab world, which will benefit more than 50 million Arab learners.

The platform includes 5,000 educational videos on science, mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology intended for learners from kindergarten to Grade 12.

The programme aims to develop educational content in Arabic or translated to Arabic and culled from educational material around the world and make it available free of charge to Arab students anywhere.

The project looks to improve the educational situation in the Arab world by elevating it to levels found in developed countries. The Madrasa project could spur similar initiatives to develop education in the region.

“The Madrasa platform focuses on quality self-education that seeks to build students’ skills and broaden their knowledge through updated educational content, and thus place them at the same level as their peers in the developed world, and enhance their competitiveness,” a statement on the Madrasa website said.

The platform is among the first results of the United Arab Emirates’ “Translation Challenge” initiative begun last year to Arabise 5,000 educational videos and translate 11 million words based on world-class curricula in science and mathematics by volunteers from different disciplines.

The initiative is to provide students with access to advanced curricula in Arabic presented in a distinctive manner, taking into account scientific accuracy and smooth presentation with appropriate illustrations.

The initiative aspires to develop the educational system through the “school of the future,” which relies on artificial intelligence and lays the foundations of an educational system that keeps pace with trends in knowledge and education.

A platform is planned to include Arabic language courses and instruction in computer science, engineering, programming, artificial intelligence and space science. The platform is trying to build partnerships with the leading institutions in online education.

The Madrasa platform can be installed on all types of devices using Windows, Android or Linux operating systems. It includes a searchable database and offers options for online storage.

The search engine on the homepage allows students to search directly for lessons by subject, by more general topics, such as science, math, biology, chemistry and physics, or by educational level.

Organisers said they hope the Madrasa platform achieves several strategic goals, including in-time and on-demand free access to up-to-date curricula in scientific fields to lift educational levels in the Arab world. They also look for it to reinforce educational opportunities for Arab students, regardless of their conditions and means, and encourage them to continue learning in conjunction with regular school curricula.

The platform encourages Arab learners to focus on scientific subjects because those are considered the cornerstone of innovation and knowledge economy. The lessons encourage self-teaching so it is hoped Madrasa will help reduce Arab students’ relative disinterest of scientific subjects.

The Madrasa project was developed to build new generations of Arab researchers, scientists, innovators and inventors who could play leading roles in the economic and social development processes in their region. It also hopes to prepare students to master the language of science and technology and participate in diversifying economies so they are based on knowledge and innovation.

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