Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced the experimental launch of an electronic platform that will enable distance learning at the country’s universities.
The platform has been set up in cooperation with Microsoft International and Blue Cloud for Software Development.
The move represents the first digital platform in Egypt providing online educational services, and will implement the new hybrid education system that has been put in place nationwide for the new academic year. This will ensure that students can seamlessly move between lectures that take place in person and online.
The platform will allow both faculty members and students to apply social distancing measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as allow for easy communication during virtual classes.
Through the Microsoft Teams programmes, lecturers will be able to build collaborative classrooms that contribute to effective and modern educational environments for students. It will also facilitate the integration of study schedules in each college, that takes into account the new measures for the academic setting.
The platform will also allow lecturers to take attendance, and monitor the number of credit hours that students need to complete their classes.
At the same time, Office 365 accounts will be set up for all students and academic staff, so they can access the full range of benefits provided by the Microsoft applications and services.
Students across Egypt will return to education from 17 October, which represents the start of the new academic year at public education facilities.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Council of Universities approved the proposal to implement a hybrid education system, in which students will have a mix of face-to-face and online classes. The move will reduce the density of students present at schools and universities, whilst ensuring that faculty members and university infrastructure maximise the benefits of the new system.
The change to a hybrid education system also targets a gradual transformation of students into lifelong learners. It is also hoped that the move will increase the quality of Egyptian universities, who will also be able to benefit from increased investments in technology.