edX announced a new partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Based on the Open edX platform the Ministry of Labor will launch a MOOC portal with the aim to bridge the gap between education and employment in the Kingdom as well as the Arab world.
The new portal will launch with a pilot program to enhance educational opportunities for Saudi women, youth, the disabled and Saudi citizens in rural communities.
Besides setting up the MOOC portal the multi-year partnership between edX and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor includes a significant investment in Open edX in return for ongoing support from edX’s support team to Saudi instructors who will work on a curriculum based on localized content from international universities as well as newly developed courses for Arab speaking students. The partnership also includes a research component.
“The private sector in Saudi Arabia is growing rapidly and skilled workers are needed now more than ever to meet the rising demands. Women and youth, in particular, are well-positioned to contribute to this need by having access to high-quality vocational training in areas such as IT, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. We expect the initiative to create job opportunities and economic empowerment in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world.”
states Maha Taibah, Advisor to the Ministry of Labor on Human Capital Development in the press release.
In May the Queen Rania Foundation launched Edraak, the first MOOC platform in the Arab speaking world which is also based on the Open edX platform and has a similar goal of providing quality education and help students to prepare for the demands of the job market.
Open edX is used by several governments across the world to run MOOC platforms including France Université Numérique and China’s XuetangX.
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