JEDDAH – Global and regional education suppliers are raising their stakes in the Middle East as the region’s e-learning market sees revenues rising to $560.7 million by 2016 amid a very competitive growing size of the self-paced e-learning market, a research conducted by Docebo entitled “e-learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014 – 2016 Report” revealed.
Oman is the top performer in e -learning terms for the rankings that cover the Middle East. Oman has the highest growth rate in the region at 19.6, followed by Lebanon (16.0 percent), Turkey (12.9 percent), Kuwait (12.6 percent) and Qatar (11.3 percent). This is mainly because the government of Oman is interested in issues relating to education and computer literacy and, consequently, is investing heavily in the sector.
For example, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) regularly provides professional development workshops for its staff. This acquaints them with E-learning technology from an educator’s perspective. To date, over 200 staff have attended such workshops. In addition, almost as many regular courses have some E-learning content included. “Middle Eastern governments are strongly committed to promoting a mass digitalization process. This means that heavy investments are being made in this initiative. This is especially true for soft skills training. This is designed to quickly and competitively improve the workforce. Is compliance training in this region the next “big thing”? Time will tell, but lots of regulations are already coming..,” said Claudio Erba, CEO & founder, Docebo.
Against this backdrop, “education decision makers are now faced with offers from different companies offering a variety of products and solutions that will help meet this demand for self-paced e-learning. With the GESS Education Awards, we hope to recognize the suppliers that are making a mark in the self-paced e-learning market and other critical aspects of spectrum of delivering quality education throughout the region,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Group, organizers of the GESS Education Awards, scheduled to take place at GESS Dubai 2015.
Thompson believes that the GESS Education Awards can help education decision makers benchmark the quality of local and international suppliers, while at the same time honor the contributions of theses education suppliers in raising the quality of education throughout the region through advanced, digital tools.
This year, the GESS Education Awards continues its mission of recognizing corporate, organizational and individual success stories in the field of education in the hopes of raising the quality of educational services & product standards throughout the industry. The awards are broken down into two sections – those for suppliers and/or distributors as well as those for teachers, schools and educational professionals. “The awards will highlight and reward the quality and diversity of educational products, resources, services and people as well as the best educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession,” Thompson added.
Thompson said that the Middle East e-learning market is poised to grow at an annual rate of 8.2 percent until 2016, outpacing the yearly growth average seen for the global market at 7.6 percent. “The strong desire to digitize the delivery of the education experience is driving this growth, with governments playing a major role in boosting investments,” he added.
The awards are now open for entries, with submissions accepted online at www.gessawards.com. For education suppliers and/or distributors, awards will be handed out in the following categories – Resource/Equipment Supplier of the Year (Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Special Needs); Best ICT/App Product (Free or Paid); Best Non-ICT Resource of Equipment; Best Product to Promote Health and Fitness in the Classroom; Local Education Supplier of the Year; Global Education Supplier of the Year; and Production Innovation Award.
Meanwhile, outstanding contributions and performance by teachers, schools and education professionals will be recognized in the following categories – Lifetime Achievement Award, Best use of ICT/eLearning in the Classroom, Community Award for Citizenship, Innovation in Education, and Outstanding Contribution in Education.
The GESS Education Awards are handed out concurrently with the eThraa awards, organized by the Arab eLearning Network, where outstanding education initiatives in the following categories – Exemplary Online Lesson: Design of an online lesson/class of a particular topic; Interactive Educational Game: design an online educational game in a particular discipline; and Interactive Social Media in Learning will also be recognized.
The deadline for submission of entries is on Nov. 27, 2014. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on Feb.15, 2015.