Edraak Regional Conference

AMMAN – Regional and international educational experts on Sunday presented a new vision for education in the Arab world, “one that is able to cope with the vast developments”. 

More than 200 participants from 50 countries gathered at the conference to exchange their views and ideas on ways to advocate for an innovative education system that promotes diversity, creativity and entrepreneurship. 

The two-day event, titled “Reimagining Education in the Arab World”, is organised by EDRAAK, the first non-profit Arab Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform launched by the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development.

Held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, the conference “aims at showcasing global, regional and local experiences in developing educational programmes that benefit from technological advancements, such as open and online education”, according to organisers.

Rubert Lue of Harvard University and faculty director of HarvardX — the university’s online educational initiative — presented a futuristic view of higher education and the role of digital learning in developing educational tools. 

He commended EDRAAK for playing a “critical” role in the advancement of online and open education in the region.

Shireen Yacoub, EDRAAK’s CEO, underlined the significance of the event in “presenting participants with innovative models that leverage technology to overcome some of the key challenges we face in the Arab world”.

“We hope the conference will serve as a starting point for rich conversations and impactful partnerships that can change the face of education in our region…,” she said during the opening ceremony. 

On the sidelines of the event, a panel discussion on digital learning in Jordan was held with the participation of several experts, including Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi, who cited “the untrained cadres and the state of facilities as challenges” facing online and open education in the Kingdom. 

On Monday, Education Minister Omar Razzaz is scheduled to deliver a speech on digital education, followed by panel discussions about ways to address the refugee education challenges and the experience of EDRAAK instructers and learners, according to organisers. 

Since its launch in 2014, the platform has reached 1,200,000 learners from all over the Arab world, offering more than 70 online courses in a variety of topics such as technology, science, job-related soft skills, entrepreneurship, programming, among others.