e-Learning in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC): Problems and Prospects

A.S. Weber (Qatar)

Keywords

Elearning and Etraining, Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC), Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain,Kuwait.

Abstract

Current E-learning initiatives in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait can be fruitfully examined together due to similarities in history, culture, and political structure. Serious issues include: moderate internet penetration rates, computer illiteracy, lack of Arabic language learning objects and the lack of autonomous, self-directed learning populations. However, the future of E-learning throughout the Gulf region is bright because of the centralization of ICT resources, recent large-scale and direct government investment, partnerships with ASEAN e-vendors and virtual universities (Malaysia, Syria, Singapore), and the potential of web-based education to alleviate some of the pedagogical problems, unique to Gulf societies, associated with institutional gender segregation.

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