Complex Made Simple

Edutech UAE before and post COVID-19

The E-learning market in GCC countries is poised to grow by $493 million during 2020-2024, at 10% yearly during the forecast period, according to Technavio. Edutech UAE revealed

For 2020, the UAE government allocated $2.83 billion towards public, higher education, and university programs Over 1.2 million school and university students across the UAE entered their virtual classrooms on March 22 Teachers are also turning to data analytics to learn more about their students

The E-learning market in GCC countries is poised to grow by $493 million during 2020-2024, at 10% yearly during the forecast period, according to Technavio.  

The positive impact that sustained investment in health, technology and education has had on the UAE’s efforts to reduce the impact of the coronavirus and move towards recovery are mapped out in a new Covid-19 Response Report (CRR) by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with The University of Manchester (UoM) Middle East Centre in Dubai.

UAE and education sector COVID-19 response

In its report, OBG looks at how the UAE’s education sector adapted to new ways of operating during the lockdown. Technology helped to ease the transition to remote learning at the height of the pandemic, facilitated by the country’s robust digital infrastructure and strong ICT adoption rating. 

License-holders will find in the report coverage of the steps that UoM’s Middle East Centre took to increase digital engagement for its large regional community of part-time MBA students when the pandemic arrived. This enabled the center to deliver 654 MBA workshop virtual sessions in July, up from 534 in January, while also rolling out a series of publicly accessible online webinars.

Randa Bessiso, Middle East Director at The UoM stated that there is a clear need to ensure maintaining human connections where soft skills such as leadership, creativity and innovation, and adaptability are to remain essential elements of existing programs and new ones.

“The emergence of educational technology (EduTech) will help create access to lifelong learning opportunities in response to the rapid obsolescence of existing skills, while flexible part-time blended learning opportunities will help sustain employability,” Bessiso told OBG. 

Consult the CRR report here.

Exclusive: Zoom Education solutions to support distance learning during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Education spending UAE, Saudi

For 2020, the UAE government allocated $2.83 billion towards public, higher education, and university programs. Of that amount, the estimated costs for public education programs stand at $1.82bn while higher and university education is expected to cost $1.01bn.

According to the Ministry of Education (MoE), the total number of schools stood at 1,262 during the academic year 2018/2019, of which 49% were public and the rest private.

The total number of students enrolled in private schools accounted for 74% (810,537 students) while 288,794 students were enrolled in public schools.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia allocated $51.38 bn for the education sector in 2020, amounting to 19% of budget expenditures.

E-learning and COVID-19

In the wake of the UAE government announcing that e-learning would continue until the end of the current academic year with the launch of its ‘Learning from Afar’, over 1.2 million school and university students across the UAE entered their virtual classrooms on March 22, Cavendish Maxwell’s Education Market Report 2019-2020 revealed.

E-learning and supporting educational technologies have gained momentum in the aftermath of the virus and led to new educational models such as a flipped classroom.

A type of blended learning, this model reverses the convention of introducing new content at school and then assigning tasks to students for home, and instead introduces content to students at home which they then practice at school, allowing for a more personalized learning experience.

Read: Social media becoming the new classroom for kids’ k-12 education

8 EduTech Trends

A study on Forbes found that global education technology (EdTech) is one of the fastest-growing segments today, and is expected to be worth $252 billion by the end of this year.

Here are 8 EduTech trends

Video-assisted Learning

Nearly every classroom is at least equipped with a screen and projector. Chron reports that some schools have even replaced the usual blackboard and whiteboard with smartboards this year and have apps that let you interact with whatever’s projected onto them with the touch of a finger.

Data Analytics

Teachers are also turning to data analytics to learn more about their students. With more educational institutions adopting virtual learning management systems (such as Moodle, Edmodo, etc.), there are more opportunities for students to input valuable personal data granting insight into their learning behavior. 

3D Printing

3D printing has expanded outside of niche uses and is now impacting schools too. Some of its popular uses in education include producing scaled models for math and history classes, as well as creating “visual aids” to make learning more immersive. 

Blockchain

This year, educational institutions are using blockchain for accessible record keeping. From degrees to certificates, some schools are creating legitimate digital copies of important documents so that students and professionals can conveniently pull them at any time when needed.

AR & VR

EdTech developments with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) bring immersive learning into the classroom. 

Some of the recent applications of AR technology involves the MERGE cube—a holographic toy that allows students to “hold” and interact with 3D object models, like solar systems or the human skull. 

MOOCs

MOOCS (massive online open courses) are different from virtual classes and are usually offered by colleges and universities. They’re meant to be supplementary sessions for those who are already taking actual courses. MOOCs will usually have a wealth of resources, such as webinars and lectures that can give students a deeper understanding of the subject they’re specializing in. 

Artificial Intelligence

Todd Feathers recently invented an AI paper grading program called Motherboard, for the purpose of alleviating teachers of the burden of grading hundreds of essays every week. Other educational breakthroughs in AI this year include intelligent tutoring systems (for online classes) and personalized learning.

COVID-19 impact

According to estimates from the World Bank, 1.5 billion students, or close to 90% of the world’s students have been impacted by the current pandemic.

Today, EduTech platforms have grown exponentially to include adaptive learning, video content, gamification, and personalized learning solutions to change the way people learn. The transformative growth in the industry has attracted interest from private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) players over the past few years. The EduTech industry recorded a total investment of $18.7 bn in 2019, after recording $16.3 bn investments in 2018.

A similar trend was observed within the MENA region’s EduTech sector, with deals rising from 4 in 2016 to more than 30 in 2019. 

EdTech startups in the region raised over $25.2 million in PE and VC funding in 2019 alone. Regional EdTech companies raised almost $4 million in March 2020.

The GCC has been no exception to this trend, with EduTech platforms such as AIMentor, Coded Minds, Tarjama, Noon Academy, SchoolVoice, Little Thinking Mind, QiDZ, Baims, and TeachMeNow, among others, already gaining significant traction within the region. 

The UAE government launched its own digital teaching platform, madrasa.org, through which it could offer free education to nearly 50 million Arab school-aged children.