Damascus, SANA- Despite of the fierce terrorist war waged against their country, the Syrians have remained resilient and they have been ready to face the latest developments through mixing the culture of life and volunteering with the technology, particularly in the domain of taking precautionary and preventive measures against the Coronavirus through launching various initiatives such as the initiative of the virtual teacher ” V Teacher”.
The “V Teacher initiative, which is a platform for distance education, was launched by IT engineer Walid al-Shayeb from Aleppo province, with the participation of about 376 volunteers and 40 teachers from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
Al-Shayeb, in a statement to SANA, noted that the initiative aims to help the teachers and students to continue the current semester from their homes for free in light of the current circumstances.
He indicated that the platform works according to the “Module” Open Source Software (OSS) which is used by the universities around the world to organize the distance education in the same way it is used by the Syrian Virtual University.
Regarding the technical details at the platform, al-Shayeb said that any teacher in Syria can join the platform through entering the email and the password into the link of the platform to make an account on it and he/ she should fill an application for that, and later he/she will be able to establish one or more courses and add his/her students and the wanted lectures.
A notice is sent to the students who are registered in the initiative that the lectures have become on the platform as the students can enter and watch the full video or text and they can interact through writing comments and asking questions to the teachers who can know the students who are on the platform and can ask them to do a homework and he can put marks for them on their homework or resend it to them.
Al-Shayeb indicated that the initiative allows the teachers to make exams that include questions which the students should answer and they get marks through them, in addition to establishing a forum for discussing various issues, comments, questions etc., along with conducting surveys and assessments for student activities.
He added that the volunteers are receiving technical training currently in order to be ready to have a quick and suitable response in working, affirming that they are the human supporter for the platform which allows them to exchange questions and ideas.
As for the obstacles which the platform has faced, al-Shayeb explained that the platform was established quickly as it has been an emergency response to the current developments and the weak point here is the weakness of the infrastructure for distance education and the lack of teachers’ experience in this field, as these people found themselves in front of a new experience in the middle of the second semester considering that this gap can be solved soon.
He expected that the number of students will reach 2000, with the possibility of increasing numbers of teachers and volunteers in the coming days.
It is worth mentioning that Walid al-Shayeb is an engineer graduate of computer science from the American University in Beirut , and he has worked on many similar initiatives that included nearly 1,400 Syrian technicians in which they have exchanged job opportunities and information and he also launched an initiative in Aleppo called “The Book Club”.