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Kingdom's e-learning industry to reach $125 million this year
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 04 - 2008

learning industry is projected to reach $125 million in 2008 and is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 33 percent over the next five years, according to a recent study conducted by Madar Research.
The growth is being driven by the Saudi Ministry of Education's initiatives for the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the education sectors, including pilot e-classrooms in five secondary schools in Riyadh.
In line with its aims to increase awareness on the benefits of e-learning technologies, Edutech Middle East, a leading provider of technology-enabled learning solutions, has partnered with Saudi-based Effat College to organize the “6th Annual Learning Technology Symposium” at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel on April 26 -27, 2008.
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, will be delivering the keynote address at the event's opening gala and dinner, which will also be attended by Princess Lolowah Al- Faisal, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and General Supervisor, Effat College; and Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Region and member of the Effat College Board of Trustees.
The strong support of key government officials for the adoption of e-learning programs is evident in the considerable increase in the Saudi Arabia's budget appropriation for education and manpower development, which has grown from SR96.7 billion in 2007 to SR105 billion in 2008.
“Saudi Arabia fully appreciates the excellent advantages of embracing technology-powered methods, especially in educating its youth,” said ASF Karim, CEO, Edutech. “The fervent keenness of its leaders to establish Saudi Arabia as a digital nation reflects upon their massive movements to adopt eLearning technologies across all educational institutions in the country. Through this symposium, we have joined hands with Effat College to exemplify how more advanced technologies can work for the development of the Saudi education system.”
As a leading figure in the regional e-learning industry, Edutech will share knowledge and best practice at the event's conference sessions and workshops on topics ranging from virtual research, moderation skills for virtual classrooms, online testing assessments and blended learning methodologies to increase language proficiency. Instructors, technical support specialists, researchers, administrators, government officials and policy makers in the K-12, postsecondary and corporate training sectors are expected to benefit from the wide array of new technologies and knowledge to be disseminated within the two-day event.
Among the high profile speakers at the plenary sessions include David Sample, vice president, Blackboard, who will discuss “Institutional Effectiveness and Student Engagement,” and Majid Al-Ghaslan, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KSA), who will present a lecture entitled “Disruptive Technology in Higher Education - Future of Learning in a Networked World.” Representatives from Edutech, including Knowledge Officer Shameema Parveen, will be participating as a panelist in a discussion on “PeopleWare Upgrade,” along with Information Solutions BU head Raghavendra, who will be conducting an “'Edunet” workshop during the event.
Along with Edutech's products, the company's team of consultants will provide insight on how technology is taking training to the next level and meeting learning and training requirements. __


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