Doha 16th July 2013: Qatar and other GCC countries especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the highest in the world in spending on education and digital learning, says Pearson, a leading British education company which has launched a new report entitled ‘Alive in the Swamp’ which gives practical advice on how to make informed, evidence-based decision when selecting learning technology.
The report contains an index which allows for systematic evaluation of new digital innovations.
Learning technologies are assessed along three criteria under the index: The effectiveness of the learning technology’s pedagogy; its ability to activate real and lasting system change; and the accessibility and usability of the technology. The large number of new learning technologies available in the Gulf has made it more difficult to determine which of these tools will have the biggest impact on the learning outcomes of students.
“Technology has huge potential for strengthening and deepening what we can learn. However, given the breadth of digital learning products available in the market, it is often difficult to determine which products will have the greatest tangible benefits for schools and students,” said Pearson’s Katelyn Donnelly.
“The index is accessible and simple to use, allowing educators to employ it to select those digital learning tools that have proven efficacy. The index has highlighted where innovation gaps exist, so we are hoping entrepreneurs will take up the challenge of creating new products that fill these holes in the market, and ultimately improve the quality of the learning technology available in the Gulf and all around the world,” he added.
Expenditure on education by GCC government as a percentage of GDP has risen dramatically over the past decade.
Saudi Arabia is expected to commit a record $54bn to education this year, which makes it one of the top ranking countries in the world in terms of education spending.
Qatar and the UAE are also channeling unprecedented amounts of funding into developing world-class education systems. UAE spends nearly a fifth of its entire budget on schools. Qatar more than doubling its education spending over the past five years to reach more than $6bn this year.
Qatar’s Supreme Education Council announced a series of e-Learning programmes last year that will digitise the teaching and learning content in all of its schools, and will see every learner given a personal learning device by the end of 2014.