Dr Ohud Al Fares.
Dr Ohud Al Fares has been appointed as supervisor of Saudi Arabia's distance-learning directorate. Image Credit: Okaz

Cairo: Saudi education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sheikh has appointed Ohud bint Abdullah Al Fares as a supervisor of the country’s distance-learning directorate, local media reported Friday.

The ministerial decree comes days after Al Sheikh announced that the first seven weeks of the new school year, starting on August 30, will depend on distance-learning programmes as part of the kingdom’s efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

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Ohud has a doctoral degree in computer science and information from Britain’s Brunel University.

She expressed happiness over the appointment, citing its timing.

“I thank the education minister for his confidence by granting me supervision of electronic education and distance-learning at this crucial stage of developing electronic educational tools and strategies,” she said in media remarks.

Ohud added that the Education Ministry has employed e-education as a sustainable option leading to the creation of an e-education directorate linked to the ministry.

“Despite the great challenges facing e-education in the world as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, the kingdom with unlimited support from its wise leadership and related bodies has succeeded in assimilating these circumstances and providing distance- learning opportunities for all,” she added. Ohud served as dean of computer science and information at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh.

She also acted as the deputy dean of e-education and distance- learning at the King Saud University.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has endeavoured to enhance women’s empowerment.

In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, as part of wide social and economic reforms championed by young Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Saudi authorities have also allowed women to travel without a male guard’s approval and to apply for a passport, easing long-time controls on them.

In February 2019, Princess Reema Bint Bandar was appointed as the first female Saudi ambassador to the US.