• Madrasa e-Learning Platform registers more than 1.3 million hours of viewership since launch in 2018
Dubai-UAE: 14 July 2021: In the new reality introduced by the global coronavirus pandemic, the digital transformation of education and the workplace has become an inevitable necessity.
The challenge of social distancing, imposed as part of COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures, has created new opportunities and prompted people to adjust to new ways of life that have proved to increase productivity and efficiency in a fast-paced world. Digital learning, for example, has expanded access to quality education among students in underserved communities and war-stricken areas where schools cannot be afforded and illustrated that connectivity is the new future.
Among those opportunities, which was fully set-up and ready prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the largest free Arabic e-learning platform Madrasa. Since its launch, Madrasa served as an integrated and holistic platform, featuring free-of-charge high-tech math and science videos to students from kindergarten to grade 12 wherever they are in the world.
Reflecting students' heavy reliance on technology for online learning during the pandemic and signaling the rising trend of digital education, Madrasa has recorded a 220% surge in lesson viewership in 2020, compared to 2019. Views increased from 6.7 million in 2019 to 21.6 million in 2020, bringing the total number of views to date to 44 million from 100 countries globally.
The highest viewership was recorded in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, and Algeria following the coronavirus outbreak and during the remote learning phase.
Madrasa, launched under Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), has provided a practical and reliable choice for students, teachers, and parents, thanks to its detailed and engaging educational content that simplifies key topics including science, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, and Arabic. It aims to enhance the learning experience, offering high-tech videos, in accordance to the latest curricula standards, to complement classroom material for students.
Better Learning Experience
Student Sheikha Mohammad Al Kaabi noted that the free and unlimited availability of lessons on Madrasa enabled her to revise science and math lessons at her own pace. “Sometimes I would not find it difficult to understand complex physics concepts, so having them simplified on videos helped me grasp science in an interactive and practical manner away from traditional textbooks.”
She noted that the future science topics covered on Madrasa spark the interest of school students in a variety of fields they can later pursue in university. “Online educational platforms generally expand our horizons as students and provide a thorough learning experience besides classrooms.”
Al Kaabi added that she hoped that Madrasa's lessons would later be linked to specialized sciences at universities where it can become a source for students.
Student Muhair Arhama Al Mazi highlighted that Madrasa provides key scientific subjects on one credible platform that employs the latest technology and smart learning programs. “It helped me absorb information better and learn quicker. The competitions and awareness campaigns also provided an opportunity for students from all over the world to learn together and engage with one another.”
Teacher Leena Khalid Zeaiter noted that Madrasa facilitated the delivery of information to students wherever they were, even during remote learning when schools were closed. She added that as an electronic platform, available for free to more than 50 million Arab students, users could browse the content they need seamlessly.
“the class level categorization and the implementation of modern technologies in designing localized scientific content aligned with curricula approved in the Arab world is what makes Madrasa helpful and efficient in enhancing students' learning experience,” said Zeaiter.
Khaled Abdullah Saleh Al Memari, a teacher, noted that Madrasa enhances self-learning, a vital skill in the future workplace, building students' confidence and character. “COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the future skills we need to teach students to empower them to thrive in the future market. Digital learning technologies can help bridge this knowledge gap.”
Abed Othman Mohammed, a legal guardian of a student user of Madrasa, said the platform's topic variety and unlimited access have empowered teachers to offer an alternative school for their students. He noted that it enabled teachers to provide visual material that complements the curriculum and help deliver lessons effectively, while keeping students engaged beyond the classroom. Mohammed called for a wider implementation of Madrasa and a simple tutorial for teachers to utilize the platform.
Awareness and Skills
Azza Obeid Saeed, a parent, found that the key advantage of Madrasa is its use of technology, digital media, and smart learning, which allows parents to guide students and closely monitor their progress.
Salma Rashid Butti Al Thaheri, another parent, finds that Madrasa helps students by providing scientific support and knowledge, and equipping them with the required skills for the future.
An Integrated Space
Asma Saeed Mohammed Khatheel, Deputy School Principal, said that Madrasa is an exceptional concept that pioneers e-learning and supports teachers, students, parents and guardians, and school administrators by providing an integrated space with a clear and sequential approach to empower students with basic skillsets. “Its activities such as competitions, school stars, missions, and a video library, allow students to assess themselves and help parents to follow up on their children's progress.”
Khatheel added that she looks forward to the expansion of Madrasa to include other languages, such as English, Chinese, and French, as well as new subjects in entrepreneurship, scientific research, design, and technology, to equip students with future skills.
The Platform Today
Since its launch in 2018, Madrasa provided more than 1.3 million hours of multimedia educational content, covering math, science, and Arabic for all levels of students from kindergarten to grade 12.
Madrasa has completed 6,823 educational videos, the content of which was prepared by a group of experts and specialists in educational materials, and completed and produced by a group of creative talents and experts to simultaneously provide a useful and enjoyable educational experience.
The number of subscribers registered on Madrasa has reached 2.98 million so far, while millions rely on Madrasa's YouTube channel to watch new and updated online videos.
In 2020, the number of recommendations to watch Madrasa videos on YouTube increased from 99,000 to 4.7 million and the viewer return rate increased to 35 percent, due to the platform's regular updates to its educational content.
The platform's website (www.madrasa.org) topped the list of external sources for Madrasa content views with 51.6 percent, followed by the search engine Google, then the instant messaging application WhatsApp, and finally YouTube.
The Arabic Language in the Lead
The Arabic language, including reading lessons, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure, topped the topics of research and views on Madrasa.
Primary school teachers particularly relied on the Arabic language lessons available on Madrasa to teach children the alphabets, principles of reading and writing, and grammar, while teachers generally benefited from the content of the platform in various topics during the remote learning phase.
Madrasa had added Arabic language grammar lessons to its rich library of video lessons, as part of an integrated project to provide 1,000 video lessons in Arabic language specialties before the end of 2020.
The lessons are varied to include 800 educational videos for grades 1 through 12 as well as 200 illustrated stories that present reading skills in an engaging way for kindergarten and primary school children, using cartoon characters developed by Madrasa's creative content teams.
At a time when data indicates that the volume of online Arabic content does not exceed three percent of the total content available, and Arabic speakers constitute five percent of Internet users, Madrasa contributes to enriching the digital content available in the Arabic language by offering quality content for tens of millions of students, Arabs and learners of the Arabic language.
In March 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) recommended the open educational electronic platform Madrasa as a source of reliable educational content in the Arabic language for students, teachers, educators and parents.
Madrasa e-learning platform is the outcome of the translation challenge that brought volunteers from various disciplines to Arabize 11 million words of internationally distinguished educational curricula in science and mathematics to provide 5,000 free-of-charge math and science videos to over 50 million Arab students.
The scientific content of the open electronic platform Madrasa complements the approved curricula in the Arab world, and provides accessible Arabized science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering videos and Arabic language lessons.