Blueprint for development of education unveiled
JEDDAH – Ineffective education is one of the stumbling blocks in a country’s prosperity and sustainable development, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, minister of education, said during a press conference here on Sunday.
It increases unemployment, fails to meet the labor market requirements, raises crime rate and drug use, and decreases the gross domestic product, putting more economic strain on a country, he said.
But the new SR80 billion program for education development, which was approved by Custodian of the Two Mosques King Abdullah earlier this month, will make sure the Kingdom never suffers from the above problems, Prince Khaled said.
The education minister said the program focuses on training teachers, developing talents of students, upgrading school administrations, and school infrastructure. It also focuses on children with special needs and the talented ones. It will end the problem of rented buildings used as schools, most of which are not appropriate for any educational activity and lack basic safety and health requirements.
Prince Khaled said 3,200 schools serving over 1.5 million students in all regions will be built. They will be linked with the Internet, and e-learning will be introduced in all of them. Over 250,000 smart classes will be provided.
He said SR5 billion has been earmarked to train teachers over the next five years. Some 25,000 male and female teachers will be sent to advanced countries to get acquainted with and trained on the latest developments in the field of teaching.
The minister said 1,500 kindergartens serving 150,000 male and female students will be built while 3,500 job opportunities will be created for female teachers over the next five years. Priority will be given to small cities, highly-populated neighborhoods, and those with limited income.
The ministry will develop public education system and introduce new curricula for mathematics, sciences, and English. He noted that a brand-new educational system will be approved for secondary grades.
The mechanisms used for selecting new teachers will be developed.