Dr. Mohammad Al-Arfaj, CEO of Ma’arif for Education and Training

Written by : | Published Date : 22/09/2020 12:29 AM

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Dr. Mohammad Al-Arfaj, CEO of Ma’arif for Education and Training

  1. How do you evaluate the current e-learning programme you are offering? How have parents and students responded?

Our early planning and preparation for e-learning has paved the way for us to offer an advanced programme. It is based on live-streamed sessions where students can interact with the teacher throughout each lecture. Our parents are extremely pleased with our consistency in providing quality education and for not increasing the numbers of students in our online sessions. Through our e-learning programme we have set new benchmarks in the Kingdom with our organized schedule starting from day 1 according to the curriculum.  Within the very first week of the new academic year, we had over 23,000 live lectures delivered online to our students, highlighting the advanced and solid digital and technical infrastructure of the Group.

  1. How are students responding to the current teaching model? Are they comfortable and what are the steps in place to ensure they can continue to achieve good academic results?

Our e-learning programme has been very well received by the parents and students. Our team promptly responded to queries and concerns raised by students and parents, showing the proven ability of the school to handle e-learning programmes smoothly. The efforts have led to a 93 per cent parent satisfaction rate, underlining the excellence of Ma’arif in providing remote learning sessions. Our school results for May/June 2020 Exam Series in IGCSE, AS and A Level are outstanding, and have exceeded the UK average and our great results in Qudrat and Tahsili have placed our students in top universities.

  1. Can you give us a background of the fee discounts you are providing due to the current e-learning model?

As a mark of appreciation by Ma’arif for Education and Training for the committed efforts of parents in supporting the students in e-learning we announced a tuition fee waiver initiative to support parents in managing the challenges incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our tuition fee waiver initiative ranged from 10%-100% for students in Manarat Schools, Al Faisalia Islamic Schools, Green Hills International Schools and Nour Al Islam Schools.

  1. What are the key tools you use to deliver e-learning? How do you compare it with other institutions/models globally?

Building on our successful online learning experience, we have continued to strive for excellence in our education provision. We have invested heavily in our online platform MLG (Ma’arif Learning Gateway) which has been proven as a great platform by our teachers and students. It has been integrated with Office 365 including Microsoft Teams to secure live streaming sessions. Several remote educational services have been added and the library has been uploaded with all the resources needed for asynchronous access. Our platform is designed to continue to deliver the curriculum as seamlessly as possible.

  1. Do you see e-learning as an alternative to in-school learning? How can you further enhance e-learning standards?

We will continue to invest in e-learning as per the requirements of the new reality, underpinned by our excellent results so far. We believe nothing beats the school-experience, and like our students and parents, we cannot wait to return to schools. However, we must not be discouraged by the situation and must do all we can to ensure quality learning for our students, and that is what we deliver today.