Wamda invests in Arabic teacher training platform Aanaab
Wamda has invested in Jeddah-based Aanaab, an education technology (edtech) platform that has raised $1.5 million in its seed round. The round was led by Wamda and Nour Nouf Knowledge Company, with participation from others including a group of angel investors in the education sector.
Aanaab is an online platform specialised in the professional development of Arab educators through open learning. Aanaab caters to individual teachers, schools, and organisations as a high quality, scalable way to continuously develop their personal and professional skills and capabilities through online lectures, meetings, reading material, discussion boards and evaluation exercises, among others.
Founded in 2016 by Mounira Jamjoom, this investment round will support the expansion of Aanaab’s operations to reach new segments and markets in the online teacher training sector.
“We have confidence in the impact Aanaab’s founders will have on the educational technology (edtech) sector’s future growth,’’ Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman at Wamda. “Aanaab is building an innovative platform that focuses on teachers’ qualifications, which is at the core of improving knowledge acquisition in schools in Saudi Arabia and the region.’’
The platform currently offers both short courses for free on various teaching training topics as well as paid certification programmes offered in collaboration with regional and international institutions such as Cambridge International and The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia.
“Aanaab is looking to develop initiatives similar to global models such as the Singaporean model, which encourages teachers to get 100 hours of professional development annually. This keeps them up to date with the latest developments in their field and improves their classroom practices through professional learning communities,’’ said Naila AlKhalawi, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) at Aanaab. “Such initiatives come as part of our company’s aspiration to be a platform that supports lifelong learning for Arab education professionals.’’
The company has worked with different government and non-government organisations on national training projects in which more than 1500 educators were trained across Saudi Arabia.
Aanaab has achieved significant growth and managed to gain over 37,000 enrollments by teachers across the Arab world. The completion rate of courses on Aanaab has reached 28 per cent, which is twice the average global rate for other open education platforms and achieved a rate of 95 per cent in trainee satisfaction, reaffirming the opportunity available for edtech startups across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).