11.12.2015 - UNESCO Office in Doha

Building a strong foundation for Open Educational Resources in Saudi Arabia


Within the framework of guaranteeing universal access to high quality education, UNESCO together with the National Center for e-Learning and Distance Learning (NCeL) organized a three-day “Policy and Governance Workshop on Developing Open Educational Resources (OER) Policies”, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 8 to 10 December 2015.

Defined as any type of educational materials in the public domain, or released with an open license allowing free use, adaptation, and distribution, Open Educational Resources (OERs) present Ministries of Education and educational institutions with a strategic opportunity to increase the quality of educational materials and using ICT to increase access to education especially for disadvantaged groups.

The workshop was attended by more than 25 Deans of E-learning from various universities across the Kingdom as well as officials from the public education sector and NCel representatives. The sessions were designed to raise awareness on the potential of OERs in advancing education and build the capacity of policymakers in developing sector-wide OER policies. 

Speaking at the opening session, Dr. Abdullah AlMegren, Director General of NCeL, conveyed the wishes of His Excellency the Minister of Education to host a successful workshop. Dr. Almegren expressed his hope to develop valuable ideas during the three-day event and to establish a clear road map for OER Policy in Saudi Arabia.

Dr Fengchun Miao, Chief of ICT in Education at UNESCO Headquarters emphasised that 2015 was a milestone for education development because the global community committed, as part as of the education for all goals and the education 2030 agenda, to ensuring quality and lifelong learning for all. Dr. Miao explained that the process now was to adapt the global agenda into national agendas.

During the workshop, participants reviewed the status of openly licensed materials in Saudi Arabia and assessed policy changes required to train teachers and education institutions in using OERs. A draft OER policy for Saudi Arabia was developed and discussed among participants and will be further developed by NCeL for implementation.


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