Overseas training of teachers to cost SR5bn
Saudi Arabia will spend SR5 billion on training some 25,000 schoolteachers abroad, Education Minister Prince Khaled Al-Faisal said on Sunday while explaining the SR80 billion education revamp plan approved by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
He said the public education development project, Tatwir, has created five education director jobs with excellent rank in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Eastern Province and Jeddah, in addition to 11 jobs with 15th rank in the rest of the regions, including Taif and Al-Ahsa, and 29 jobs in 14th rank in other cities.
Speaking with reporters, Prince Khaled also highlighted King Abdullah’s educational reforms, saying that such reforms have contributed immensely to improving the country’s educational standards. “Education plays a significant role in accelerating a country’s progress and prosperity.”
He stressed the need for providing a suitable atmosphere for students to learn and develop their skills. “We need to develop the standards of both teachers and students and give special care to nursery students, as well as children with special needs,” the minister said.
“Education may be considered a problem or a solution. We want to make it a solution and we have a lot of strong points to achieve this goal,” the prince said. He said the project would focus on getting rid of rented school buildings that fail to provide a conducive educational atmosphere.
He said a high-level committee that has been set up to supervise the implementation of the project would come up with proposals on ways of motivating teachers. The project also envisages the construction of 1,500 nurseries for the benefit of 150,000 students and the creation of 3,500 new female teacher jobs.
He also disclosed plans to establish 16 hospitals to provide health services to employees of Education and Higher Education Ministries and their families, adding that the project would be ready by the end of 2016.
Prince Khaled said SR1.2 billion has been allocated to link schools with a computer system to meet e-education requirements, while SR1.19 billion has been devoted to school workshops and smart classrooms.
“This will benefit 250,000 classrooms,” the minister said. “Around SR1.5 billion has been allocated for 15 special education support service centers,” he said.
King Abdullah has set aside SR350 million to develop 1,000 educational clubs in districts and SR50 million for 800 seasonal clubs. “The king has allotted SR1.5 billion for specialized schools to develop the skills of gifted children. He has also allocated SR400 million annually for special needs children.”