Online education Scott Peterson/Getty Images

Memperkenalkan Pendidikan Daring (online) kepada Dunia Arab

DUBAI – Sejak dahulu, pendidikan merupakan tantangan bagi dunia Arab, rendahnya akses pada pendidikan berkualitas berkontribusi terhadap semakin besarnya skills gap yang menyebabkan banyak pemuda, bahkan lulusan perguruan tinggi, menjadi pengangguran dan putus asa. Di kawasan yang sering dilanda konflik dan kekacauan, tentu tidak mudah memecahkan permasalahan tersebut. Namun, melalui pendekatan yang tegas dan inovatif, jalan keluarnya bisa dicapai.

Sudah pasti satu strategi tunggal tidak menjamin akan menyelesaikan tantangan pendidikan di dunia Arab. Melalui yayasan Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education yang baru dibentuk dan memiliki dana sebanyak 1,1 miliar dolar AS dan mandat untuk membuka peluang lebih besar bagi pemuda-pemudi Arab dengan pemberian beasiswa, kami telah mengkaji efektivitas berbagai pendekatan yang layak – termasuk efektivitas biaya. Ada satu opsi yang menonjol: online learning.

Bahkan negara-negara Arab membuat kemajuan luar biasa cepat dalam perluasan konektivitas internet. Pada tahun 2018, diperkirakan terdapat 226 juta pengguna internet di dunia Arab, lebih dari 55% populasi penduduknya – hampir 7% lebih tinggi dibandingkan rata-rata global. Akan tetapi mayoritas pemuda menggunakan internet untuk mengakses media sosial, daripada keperluan ekonomi atau pendidikan. Dengan demikian, mereka kehilangan peluang besar, apalagi mengingat kemajuan yang dicapai dalam hal peningkatan efektivitas dan daya tarik online learning.

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