Investment in the 21st century technological classroom has become a top priority for many Middle Eastern governments, according to Smart Technologies, makers of interactive white-boards and collaborative software.

Speaking at the Middle East’s first learning in technology exhibition BETT, regional director Aaron Fright says: “Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the strongest markets for technological investment in education, but the entire region is moving in the right direction.”

Tools like interactive whiteboards that can access the internet and support other media are being adopted in private and state institutions to keep pace with the changes in the learning environment.

Technology and the economy are the driving factor behind these changes. GCC countries have better infrastructure and are better placed to install such tools, whereas countries such as Egypt and Yemen face bigger challenges, limited by weak infrastructure and a lack of investment.

Interactive whiteboard penetration in the region is less than 10 per cent. Penetration levels in the UK are currently 70 per cent. “The market is at a healthy level with a strong level of conviction to improve,” adds Fright.