Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10 May 2020: In a bid to ensure continuity of learning for students, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has collaborated with Yahsat to provide free satellite broadband services for distance learning students residing in the Al Dhafra region. With ADEK’s support, Yahsat, the leading satellite operator in the UAE, will offer its services free of charge to support students’ distance learning needs until the end of the current academic year.
This initiative is the latest in a series of strategic collaborations that ADEK forged with technology providers ahead of the transition to distance learning earlier in March of this year. These key collaborations seek to equip all schools and students with the necessary resources, connectivity and devices to ensure that students can continue their learning journey uninterrupted, while staying safe at home. Yahsat’s high-speed satellite broadband will provide internet access in areas that previously lacked connectivity, enabling students and faculty to access a wide range of online resources, including e-learning and collaboration platforms, online libraries and educational applications.
Ahead of the closure of schools in light of social distancing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the UAE, ADEK carried out a comprehensive evaluation to assess the overall readiness of schools for distance learning. The exercise encompassed assessing the existing e-learning infrastructure and ensuring the availability of devices and connectivity across schools and homes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The exercise identified several students based in the Al Dhafra Region with no reliable access to internet connectivity, thus spurring the collaboration with Yahsat to provide a timely and effective alternative solution. Additional key collaborations between ADEK and technology and education providers include those with Alef Education, Microsoft Teams and Class Dojo. To date, ADEK has provided over 15,150 tablets, 7,000 SIM cards, and 3,000 MiFi devices to facilitate distance learning.
H.E. Sara Musallam, Chairperson of ADEK, said: “Since the kick-off of distance learning in March, we continue to work hand-in-hand with entities in the public and private sectors to ensure that we can overcome any challenge, large or small. Above all, our priority is to guarantee the continuity of distance learning while ensuring the educational experience as a whole remains uncompromised. Our collaboration with pioneering technology providers, such as Yahsat, has enabled us to bridge the gap so that our students have access to all the necessary resources for an enriching and fruitful educational journey.”
“This collaboration is a prime example of what the government and private sector can accomplish when we work together to develop solutions that will ultimately empower our community to weather these challenging times. Everyone has a part to play, and we are extremely grateful to work with like-minded establishments that are as passionate about safeguarding the education of tomorrow’s generation as we are,” she continued.
Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat, spoke of the company’s collaboration with ADEK: “In the present scenario, education has changed dramatically with the emergence of e-learning whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. As the UAE’s sole provider of advanced satellite communications solutions, it is Yahsat’s mission to support the country’s student community by deploying resources to provide crucial internet connections in their hour of need. By joining forces with ADEK, Yahsat has contributed to a stable and responsive learning ecosystem in the Al Dhafra Region over our satellite network. We are extremely grateful to ADEK for giving us this opportunity to serve our nation and ensure continuity of distance learning.”
ADEK’s collaboration with Yahsat will see technical teams visit homes across the Al Dhafra region to fully equip them with the necessary hardware and software solutions that will enable access to satellite internet connectivity.