To help students with limited access to the Internet, a group of Omanis has launched an electronic platform which provides educational content offline.
The platform, called Ashal, has been supported by Oman Technology Fund and it helps students from grades 5-12 follow their school curricula.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Moza al Shiyadi, media official of the platform, said the idea was to establish a virtual educational platform that can incorporate the traditional educational platforms and the use of social media.
“Today, everyone is learning electronically and online, but Ashal is different. It allows students to use the platform offline. The platform aims to provide clear, simple and detailed explanations of most educational curricula. It also helps students living in remote villages with no access to the Internet to study easily.”
She said the creators of the platform believe that a successful project should remain in a state of constant updating.
“The work on the project of Ashal started a year ago and it recently launched the first stage, which comprises the curricula of grades 5 to 12. Currently, we are in a stage of improving the curricula of these grades, aligning with existing demands and trends.”
Ashal has the services of 70 teachers and 23 administrators and technicians.
Ashal provides educational services such as recorded lessons, online lessons, educational consultations, career guidance, training courses, comprehensive revisions before exams, electronic tests, summary of teaching materials and supporting materials.
“The platform offers some of its services free, or for nominal amounts. Subscription starts at RO4 per subject for a full semester,” said Moza.
She said the project had to overcome two main challenges.
“The first challenge was the lack of people’s awareness on the importance of virtual learning platforms. They included teachers and officials in the educational sector itself. The lack of resources was the second challenge.
“Yet, after the launch of Ashal and the emergence and delivering its educational services, which can compete internationally in its quality and services, support has come easily.”
Talking about the future she said, “We hope that circumstances and opportunities will enable us to prove the effectiveness of our educational learning platform in the Omani context. The current data give us clear indications that the opportunity for success outside Oman is greater and calls abroad have increased.”