The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched a tender for local firms to apply for to be part of the establishment of massive open online courses (MOOCs) under the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
This marks the first endeavour to introduce MOOCs at such a scale in Egypt, with the only other similar project being Nafham, an online project providing educational material through YouTube videos.
MOOCs are a new method of online university-level education, promoting open classrooms and are often not credit based. The project aims to import this method of online education with the hope of providing wider access to higher education.
This project comes within the framework of a cooperation protocol signed by the ministries of communications and higher education. It aims to provide an open source e-learning platform that includes five educational curriculums. In addition, the project will train individuals in the Ministry of Higher Education on the production of digital educational content through the edX platform, one of the original producers of MOOCs, to ensure the continuity of the project.
The edX platform previously collaborated with Queen Rania of Jordan to develop an Arabic portal for MOOCs called Edraak.
Increasing Arabic online education content is one of the project’s goals, along with contributing to encouraging a competitive environment for university professors and developing university students’ learning abilities.
The proposal includes training 75 individuals from the Supreme Council of Universities to design and produce online courses, as well as the launch of a contest between the Egyptian universities to produce five digital educational curriculums via iOS and Android operating systems.
Daily News Egypt contacted several companies specialised in providing technological solutions, but the representatives appeared to be unaware of the bid as of yet. Moreover, many of the companies in the local market do not have the learning solutions required to apply such a programme, focusing instead on hardware solutions.
The project also marks the first time for MOOCs to be introduced to Egypt at the level of public higher-education institutions, having previously only been prevalent in private schools and institutions nationwide.