Business Transformation

Is the Middle East headed to be a hotbed of eLearning?

Faisal Khan
May 27
7-10 mins

Table of contents

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Is the Middle East headed to be a hotbed of eLearning?

According to industry research, the number of EdTech investment deals rose exponentially last year compared to previous years. The global EdTech market was estimated at $76.4 billion in 2019, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18.1% predicted from 2020 to 2027.

According to startup and investment platform Magnitt, the Middle East earned only $1.26 million of the record $20 million invested in the EdTech startup sector in 2019. Because of the consistent expansion, the sector has witnessed in recent years, the Middle East has seen a welcome boom in EdTech firms and online learning and development.

Furthermore, government authorities in Middle Eastern countries established new and effective education mandates to digitize all academic textbooks in order to develop the region's education system. Education has advanced drastically in recent years, particularly in Dubai, resulting in colleges attracting thousands of international students each year.

Conversational AI is also contributing to the growth of the EdTech industry around the world, with the advancement in the domains of Artificial Learning and automation. The Middle East has the greatest potential to grow in the domain of eLearning due to the accessibility and availability of world-class tech and international investment in countries like UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. As these countries have become a gateway between Eastern and Western countries. 

What are EdTech and eLearning?

eLearning is a method of learning that combines institutionalized instruction with electronic resources. It can also be described as a network that facilitates the transmission of skills and knowledge, with education being delivered to a large number of people at the same time or at different periods. There is no doubt that EdTech assists students in learning beyond the lessons of a traditional classroom, from keeping them up to date with the latest technology to increasing their employability.

Edtech stands for education technology, which is dedicated to developing and using tools in the classroom to make learning more engaging and personalized. EdTech includes interactive screens, virtual classes, and MOOCs. EdTech firms aim to improve student results, boost their learning capacities, and relieve instructors of their instructional responsibilities.

Let's understand the potential of edTech and how it improves the quality of education in the Middle East.

1. Hybrid Learning and online lectures

Under the hybrid model, students can actively participate and take advantage of online/live lectures from the comfort of their homes/workplaces. Digital learning has opened up a new means of learning and consuming knowledge for a big segment of students who are unable to physically attend a regular classroom. 

Cutting-edge LMS platforms and video conferencing technologies enable students at home to participate in lessons just as active as those in the school. The benefits of EdTech or digital/distance learning are just as applicable in the Middle East as they are in the West. 

However, for students in the Middle East, flexibility in terms of study time, geographically remote access, and participation in a global community of students may be particularly important. With the growing demand for in-demand skills, many professionals are enrolling in globally recognized distance learning programs that allow them to study at their own pace and at their leisure.

2. Immersive Learning

EdTech helps deliver interactive and multimedia coursework to students across devices while also providing an ideal platform for innovation, going beyond traditional learning styles. Virtually, students have an abundance of resources and a variety of ways to consume them. 

EdTech is now seen as a catalyst for accelerated ecological and socioeconomic growth and development in the age of what is now known as the fourth industrial revolution and is seen as a key to sustainable leadership and innovative practices in an evolving world.

As a result, the UAE Ministry of Education is eager to introduce and support EdTech initiatives aimed at improving the educational process and promoting immersive learning while also improving the quality of instruction and learning.

3. Transforming Education

Students can use digital simulations to not only better understand various concepts, but also to become more familiar with the wonders of the modern world. With the advancement of technology, educators can now better plan their lessons by incorporating various activity models and interactive assignments for students.

Because 60% of the Middle East's population is under 25, it has never been more important to ensure that technology benefits youth so that they can become tomorrow's leaders. The UAE government's efforts to provide the necessary infrastructure and support for educational institutions to thrive digitally are assisting this.

5 EdTech startups combating the educational challenges in the Middle East.

1. Noon Academy

With over 2 million registered students, Noon Academy is one of the fastest-growing Edu-Tech startups in the Middle East. Noon Academy is a social learning platform that allows students to learn from their peers, compete with them, and form live on-demand study groups. The platform, which is based in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, operates on a subscription or membership model and provides tutoring for a variety of aptitude and placement tests. With a total of $13 million, the startup raised one of Saudi Arabia's third-largest funding rounds in H1 2020.

2. Zendy

Before Arab professionals fall behind, the new educational platform aimed to address industry changes. The holistic education platform Zedny launched in June 2020, ushering in a new era of Arabic learning. Over 5,000 hours of learning content, including over 200 online courses and 4000 animated video summaries of global business bestsellers, are available on the new development platform. The online platform, which is accessible to both employers and individuals throughout the Arab world, aims to improve professional employability by developing business skills, soft skills, and office tools.

3. Aanaab

EdTech Aanaab is an online professional development platform for teachers based in Jeddah. Aanaab's content partners include Cambridge Assessment International Education, Dar Al-Hekma University, and Rwaq. After completing various courses on the startup's platform, over 450 teachers and educators were awarded Cambridge International certificates, according to the company. The startup raised $1.5 million in its first round of funding in March 2020, to create initiatives that are similar to global models, such as the Singaporean model, which encourages teachers to receive 100 hours of professional development per year.

4. Coded Minds

From kindergarten to adulthood, coded minds are used to educate people. This company provides education with a focus on skills needed in the twenty-first century. They want to use hands-on interactive learning to teach people about modern technology. It was founded by Omar Farooqui in 2017. This UAE-based EdTech company believes that education should be focused on a specific goal. Edgemakers, ISteam, Hope Academy, teacher training 2.0, early learning, child care, and tutor booth are six of the platforms they use to accomplish this. The platform includes student and teacher training, as well as early childhood development and a learning management system.

5. Abjadiyat

Abjadiyat is an Edtech startup based in the United Arab Emirates that has created a platform for children to learn Arabic. They do so in a lighthearted and interactive manner. They are the creation of Ibdaa Kids, an Abu Dhabi-based Edu Tech company. To deliver a comprehensive Arabic teaching and learning ecosystem for in-school and at-home instruction and practice, the platform was carefully developed with leading linguists, early childhood experts, world-class engineers, and designers. They've partnered with many schools in Dubai to change the way children learn. They have $ 6 million in annual revenue.

How Qassim University (Saudi Arabia) modernizes education with Engati

Qassim University was looking for better ways to engage and support visitors on the website and social media. At the same time, it was quite troublesome to handle and respond to customers' queries and thousands of followers across multiple platforms. Qassim University deployed a chatbot that could make user conversations interactive and engaging using Engati's no-code conversational platform. The chatbot was able to answer 90% of the queries without agent assistance and handled 30x more visitors to the website. Qassim University was able to achieve an 88% improvement in response time. The Engati bot answers admission queries, questions about the scholarship, student communities and faculties, and much more.

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Faisal Khan

Faisal is a content marketer at Engati who also dabbles in brand management. As an MBA graduate and a spoken-word poet, he manages to marry his business acumen with an artistic flair.

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