Dubai e-Government implements learning portal

HumanSoft Learning Solutions has designed and implemented a complete e-learning portal for Dubai e-Government. Built in under a month, the portal has made 3000 business and IT courses available to corporate and home internet users across the UAE.

  • E-Mail
By  Patrick Phelvin Published  November 23, 2003

|~||~||~|HumanSoft Learning Solutions has designed and implemented a complete e-learning portal for Dubai e-Government. Built in under a month, the portal has made 3000 business and IT courses available to corporate and home internet users across the UAE.

The site’s content comes from HumanSoft’s partner, Thomson NETg, and the courses on offer are currently split into four disciplines — IT certification, business courses, office skills and information technology.

Although all courses, apart from those in basic computing and internet, are only available in English, HumanSoft and NETg are in the process of Arabising more of the portal’s content. In addition to the general courses, certified IT programmes from the likes of IBM and Cisco are also available. The number of courses is set to rise further in the coming months, with business law and healthcare programmes to be added soon.
HumanSoft used Windows Server 2003 to develop the portal, which includes an online payment gateway.

“The vision and objectives identified by Dubai e-Government positioned HumanSoft’s executive team in a race against time to develop the e-learning infrastructure under the umbrella of Dubai e-Government,” says HumanSoft CEO, Fahed Al Othman. “By partnering with Thomson NETg we could make more than 3000 training programmes available through visual and acoustic interaction and in Arabic and English languages for all sectors,” he explains.

Dubai Government and HumanSoft designed the portal to overcome the problems that have hampered the growth of e-learning in the Middle East, such as relatively low internet penetration, slow speeds and intermittent connections. Although many of the courses carry audio and visual content, all are compatible with 56k download as well as high speed broadband. The portal is also being hosted in the UAE to improve connectivity.

“We believe HumanSoft’s strategic alliance with NETg will give the portal a well adhered position here in Dubai because the curriculum that NETg is providing is more focussed and more academic than other offerings. We considered many other vendors but although they are all providing something for the market, they miss the academic sense in their content,” says Yasser Harreb, Dubai e-Government’s E-service provisioning officer.

Flexibility in terms of downloadable methods and penetration rates will dictate whether the portal proves a success, according to Torben Pedersen, senior analyst for software & services, IDC Middle East. “E-learning that is more like remote learning, and does not really require you to be online all the time, is the model that will do well,” he says. “That is what works in this region and this method is generally more successful than that which requires high bandwidth for video streaming,” Pedersen adds.

The portal has been designed to provide users with a holistic service. In addition to 24/7 text chat support services, students can browse courses, pay for them and download them online. The site has been designed to cater for the population at large and the Dubai Government has embarked on a marketing scheme aimed at increasing awareness of the courses, first among government employees then the public and non-governmental organisations. Furthermore, the course pricing reflects this wide appeal, with prices generally ranging from Dhs100-200 and a selection of free courses in the pipeline. Students can pay using credit cards or e-cards purchased from Dubai E-Government.

“We stand for quality and we must provide people with accurate training with something sufficient, more than the normal training available on the market. The Dubai e-Government, with HumanSoft, is providing free courses, or very low fees for courses, to encourage people to embrace this new technology,” says Harreb.
||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code