An episode examining the role of artificial intelligence in education and achieving the goals of sustainable development

An episode examining the role of artificial intelligence in education and achieving the goals of sustainable development
An episode examining the role of artificial intelligence in education and achieving the goals of sustainable development
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With the participation of UNESCO experts and regional and international organizations

Today, the regional seminar on the role of artificial intelligence in promoting equity and progress towards achieving the fourth goal of the sustainable development goals began in Muscat, which will last for two days. The opening ceremony was sponsored by Her Excellency Dr. Mona bint Salem Al-Jardani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation for Vocational Training.

The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Education represented by the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science in cooperation with the Islamic World Organization for Education, Culture and Science (ICESCO) with the participation of UNESCO experts, the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States, the Regional Center for Educational Planning in Sharjah, and a group of academic experts concerned with artificial intelligence and education technologies from countries GCC.

Amna bint Salem Al Balushi, Assistant Secretary of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science said: “Artificial intelligence has achieved impressive results over the past five years, topping the public discussions of international organizations, as these organizations have launched charters governing the ethical and safe use of artificial intelligence applications.” The Sultanate of Oman was not far from this movement. In the field of education, there was a big leap to adopt alternative educational paths to the traditional pattern. To ensure the continuity of distance education, during a short period of time, all tools supporting this were harnessed, such as the development of regulatory legal frameworks, harnessing the virtual educational environment, and training and qualifying teachers in knowledge and practice; To produce supportive digital educational content. It also produced many smart applications that support the teaching and learning processes. Perhaps the best thing that accompanies all of this is the knowledge and information community awareness in various technical fields, and the use of smart applications. Due to the rapid shift towards activating electronic applications to ensure the provision of all possible services.

Al-Balushi stated: The contributions, initiatives and innovations that have been achieved with artificial intelligence technologies and many others can only be considered real beginnings of promising launches to harness artificial intelligence applications for education, recognizing that the challenges facing this are still large and varied, noting the keenness to involve all Parties interested in education and artificial intelligence, from international and regional organizations to research institutions, government agencies, civil society organizations and the youth group. It hopes that the working papers presented in this episode will contribute to enriching this promising field, and it is an invitation to shed light on it and place it under the microscope of research and experimentation. To improve the educational process, whether at the national or international level.

Aziz Al-Hajir, an education expert at ISESCO, said: ISESCO pays continuous attention to artificial intelligence, making it part of its forward-looking strategy, through its involvement in the field of modern technology and innovation, to serve member states and support their efforts in capacity-building in their fields of specialization, and to employ artificial intelligence, as it is one of the biggest revolutions. Technology known to man, and the best evidence of this is the successful partnership between ISESCO and the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, to organize this regional seminar, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation for Vocational Training, within the framework of the steady efforts made by ISESCO; To provide participants with the necessary advanced expertise and skills in the field of artificial intelligence, in order to develop our educational systems.

Aziz explained that the inclusion of artificial intelligence applications to promote equity and progress towards achieving the fourth goal of sustainable development goals is at the core of national efforts to develop education, which requires the development of policies that take into account the needs of all users to avoid discrimination, and to ensure that everyone can enjoy its benefits, including minorities. Poor and marginalized people, children and people with disabilities, ensuring that everyone enjoys in a fair, equitable and comprehensive manner artificial intelligence and its applications in the field of education, by taking the necessary measures to address disparities based on social and economic status, gender, race and geographical location, and identifying successful projects and effective solutions based on Artificial intelligence, in order to overcome the obstacles that prevent marginalized and vulnerable groups from obtaining quality education.

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Khalid bin Khalaf Al-Ma’awali, Assistant Director of the Education Sector Department at the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, said: The regional episode comes to highlight the role of artificial intelligence applications in promoting equity and progress towards achieving the fourth goal of sustainable development goals within the framework of the participation of the Sultanate of Oman and the countries of the world in celebrating the International Day of Education. Which falls on January 24 of each year, in order to keep abreast of the latest developments in local and global artificial intelligence technology.

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Al-Maawali added: The workshop sheds light on the most successful educational practices, the existing challenges, and how to overcome them, in order to achieve good, equitable and inclusive education for all. The workshop came after artificial intelligence proved its ability to address the greatest challenges faced by humanity in the modern era, and here we are talking about the Covid 19 pandemic, as it prompted the innovation of new practices and methods in teaching and learning, and as a result of this great success achieved by artificial intelligence during the last five years, it started to lead the discussions. The public, including the United Nations, issued the final document of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education under the name of educational planning in the era of artificial intelligence and pioneering progress in the field of education.

Participants’ opinions

Khadija bint Ahmed Al Balushi, Director of the Applied Sciences Supervision Department, said: The e-learning system is one of the supporting components of education besides direct education, as the Ministry of Education has sought to provide everything that facilitates the activation and facilitation of this type of education. To raise the efficiency of the educational process in line with developments, meet the educational and life needs, and introduce development and modernization with the help of the latest technological innovations in order to provide an effective type of education that all parties to the educational process respond to, and to achieve the main objectives of the National Education Strategy 2040, which provides for the support of modern technologies.

She added: The electronic educational platforms are one of the e-learning components provided by the Ministry, such as the Google Classroom platform for grades (5-12), and the Ministry’s platform for grades (1-4), which are virtual interactive environments that include educational pillars related to learning, teaching, evaluation and follow-up through their contents. It includes (educational contents, texts, images, video clips, flashes, texts, presentations, audio materials, assessment activities, and interactive tools…) through which communication takes place between the teacher and the student in a synchronous and asynchronous manner; To provide flexible and open learning at any time and place, using a variety of sources that allow optimal dealing with the individual differences of learners and enhance their self-learning, emphasizing the interaction of learners, teachers and parents with the platforms.

Dr. Iman bint Saeed Al-Hebrew, Dean of the College of Science, Computer and Information at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, touched on the contribution of artificial intelligence to the development of the education process, especially after the Sultanate of Oman passed through the Corona crisis, which was shocking to everyone, and after overcoming that crisis, artificial intelligence and the uses of modern technologies became a contribution to education, especially in Distance education, explaining about global experiences in artificial intelligence, that it helped to reach groups that need special care in terms of understanding, which helped education in classifying students and identifying their weaknesses.

From the State of Qatar, Aisha bint Mohammed Al-Amadia, a specialist in e-learning projects, said: Education is one of the goals of sustainable development in the State of Qatar. There must be a huge amount of data in order for us to analyze the data and draw analyzes from it that help us make education decisions. And applications of artificial intelligence can be used in education directly, and it has a great future in education, but there is still controversy about the use of means of applications of artificial intelligence, with applications that may harm education on the one hand, and the existence of sites that may prepare scientific research and others. In conclusion, the sponsor of the ceremony honored the international organizations, speakers and chairmen of the dialogue sessions.

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