Digitisation in full swing: Bahrain Education Minister
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The education ministry is pressing ahead with its digital empowerment plans in line with the Future Schools project of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Dr Majid Bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, the Minister of Education, said.
“Efforts to integrate information technology into education had resulted in Bahrain advancing on international indicators in line with the Vision 2030,” the minister said during a media briefing by the National Liaison Centre at the ministry.
Yusuf Al-Bunkhalil, the Executive Head of the National communications Centre, was present at the meeting on the preparations for the new school year 2021-2022.
68 million hits
Addressing the meeting, Dr Al Nuaimi said the education ministry’s portal recorded 68 million visits by students to access various educational services.
The portal has 403 textbooks, 1142 learning units, 979 exams, and 6822 lessons in digital form. Besides, teachers on the EduNET created 726,688 activities, 300,004 lessons, 418, 571 discussions and 20,792 tests.
The ministry is also broadcasting content through 14 YouTube channels, which included one for special needs students. Total EduNET visitors are 6,889,5291.
149 training programmes
Dr Al Nuami said the ministry is continuing its training and apprenticeship programmes, despite the outbreak.
Till now, the ministry held 149 training programmes. “The programmes by the Bahrain Teachers College, such as the Teacher Education Diploma and the School Leadership Diploma, and 17 training programmes carried out through the Regional Information and Communication Technology Centre from September 2020 to August 2021 benefited 4,390 people,” the minister said.
The ministry, Dr Al Nuaimi said, is following a new structure based on best international practices. He added that the ministry is also preparing to implement several development initiatives. “Task forces are in place for developing curriculum, examinations, early education, database and education portal.”
Three new academic buildings
The ministry, he said, also completed three new academic buildings in Western Elementary Girls School, the Al-Muharram Primary School for Girls and the Western Riffa elementary Girls School.
“Besides, all schools in the Kingdom follow the traffic light system, have transportation services adhering to precautionary procedures, and follows disinfection procedures.”
On social distancing measures, the minister said they had created additional classrooms to create more space. On textbooks, Dr Al Nuaimi said the ministry had printed 2,394,794 books for the new school year. “Works are progressing to distribute the book as per established procedures.”
“The decentralization of procedures is also allowing schools to manage virtual classes themselves.”
Traffic light system
On the Traffic light system, the minister said 100% attendance is allowed at the green level. Students should keep 0.5 metres of distance between them at this level.
“Whether to return to in-person classes or not is left to the discretion of guardians.” In the Red level, all classes will move to remote learning.
Thirty per cent attendance is allowed at Orange level and 50% at Yellow level. The minimum distance for social distancing is 1 meter. In-person attendance of education and administrative staff are left for schools to manage as they deem appropriate.
The minister said the new textbooks focus on modern-day skills, artificial intelligence, creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical and analytical thinking. “To achieve sustainable development goals, 15 new books and six digital books are developed.” The ministry is also developing 25 books and nine digital books.
Lessons, the minister said, also have QR codes to help familiarise students with the desired values. “The ministry produced 500 new e-learning courses for curriculum development and had also converted them into video format for YouTube.”
Bidaya: 2000 girl students participate
More than 2000 girl students participated yesterday in “Bidaya”, the annual induction ceremony for freshers in the technical and professional streams. Education Minister Dr Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary Latifa Isa Al Bunoudha, technical and professional education specialists were present at the virtual ceremony.
Dr Al Nuaimi spoke about the years-long efforts to develop the curricula to engage more girl students in the technical stream, in addition to in-house training.
The student apprenticeship programme, the minister said, was first launched in 2008. “It was then gradually expanded to include five schools – Hoora, Al Istiqlal, Al Wafa, Ghazi Al Gosaibi and Al Ma’arifa.”