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  • 1. Interesting Stats 300 million people live in MENA countries (~5-6% of global population) (The World Bank, 2013) Distance education technology used in classrooms: 80% laptops, 71% mobile phones (eLearning Africa, 2013) 40.2% of the Middle Eastern population has internet; an increase of 2640% since 2000. 15.6% of the African population has internet; an increase of 3600% since 2000. (Internet world stats, 2012) UAE has the largest percentage of social media use in the classroom which is 78% with 19% of computers provided by the school (Bhatia, 2013)
  • 2. MDDE 614: International Issues in Distance Education Critical Issues in Distance Education: Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Shaz Akhtar, Corrie Macdonald, Kyle Slinn, Sandee Vincent, Tracey Woodburn
  • 3. North Africa Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisia Western Sahara (in dispute) Middle East Afghanistan Bahrain Qatar Iran Saudi Arabia Iraq Syria Israel Turkey Jordan Oman Kuwait Yemen Lebanon Palestine United Arab Emirates Countries in MENA
  • 4. MDG 2015 Millenium Development Goals -Related to Education UNESCO (2015) Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education “Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling” Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015.”
  • 5. S.T.E.P. Model The STEP model is used here to categorize distance education (DE) issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). STEP is an acronym for: Social Technical Economic Political
  • 6. Social Issues I ● Unrest and ethnic conflict ● Language and culture ● Individualist Style (Western Style) versus Collective Style (non-Western) ● Traditional values for women
  • 7. Social Issues II ● Access to money = Access to education ● Jobs and education ● Teachers & change
  • 8. Technical Issues ● Infrastructure ● Software/Hardware ● Technology
  • 9. Economic Issues ● Poor vs. wealthy ● Costs ● International funding
  • 10. Political Issues ● ● ● ● Demographic tsunami Traditional beliefs Accreditation Policy & government
  • 11. Summary Many hurdles to overcome in order to improve education in MENA countries: ● Regional and religious conflicts ● Socio Economic divide in populations ● Lack of technical infrastructure
  • 12. Questions to Ponder 1) How can Open Educational Resources address some of the barriers to education discussed in this presentation? 2) Part of the Arab Spring revolution has been attributed to the fact that this region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world (nearly 25%) how can distance education contribute increased youth employment?
  • 13. References I Akkari, A. 2004. Education in the Middle East and North Africa: The Current Situation and Future Challenges. International Education Journal, 5(2): 144–153. Bouhlila, D. S. (2011). The quality of secondary education in the middle east and north africa: What can we learn from TIMSS’ results? Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 41(3), 327–352. doi:10.1080/03057925.2010.539887 Calik, M. (2005). A cross-age study of the understanding of chemical solutions and their components. International Education Journal, 30-41. Caner, A. O. (2013). Higher education in Turkey: Subsidizing the rich or the poor? Economics of Education Review, 75-92. Chapman, D. W., & Miric, S. L. (2009). Education Quality in the Middle East. International Review of Education, 55(4), 311–344. doi:10.1007/s11159-009-9132-5
  • 14. References II Hamdan, A. (2005). Women and education in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and achievements. International Educational Journal, 42-64. Ibrahim, A. A. (2013). Teacher resistance to educational change in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 25-36. Internet world stats. (2012, June). Retrieved from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm Lephalala, M.K & Makoe, M. (2012). The Impact of Socio-Cultural Issues for African Students in the South African Distance Education Context. Journal of Distance Education, 26(1) OECD (2012), Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2012-en Shumacher, J. (2013). New Directions for Community Colleges. Spring 2013 (161),113-227. doi: 10.1002/cc.20052
  • 15. References III Wilkins, K. (2011). Higher education reform in the Arab World. Washington: Brookings. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2011/8/education% 20reform%20wilkins/08_education_reform_wilkins.pdf
  • 16. Education Organizations in MENA Education Research and Reform Efforts Education Reform for the Knowledge Economy Program (ErfKE), Jordan, ½ billion dollars, supervised by the World Bank http://www.worldbank. org/projects/P075829/education-reform-knowledge-economy-program?lang=en Qatar Foundation, Qatar, promoting education and research partnerships in the region, http://www.qf.org.qa/education Distance Education Organizations Arab Open University, campuses in Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Oman, associated with the Open University in the UK http: //www.arabou.org.sa/