LONDON – The Kingdom has taken major strides in developing a world-class education system and a knowledge-based economy, said Noura Al-Fayez, Deputy Minister of Education for Girls.
She was speaking at the International Forum on Education in London on Tuesday. The forum opened on Monday with representatives from more than 60 countries. The participants have gathered to discuss education issues and exchange views and expertise.
“Building a knowledge-based society needs creativity, intelligence, energy and vitality from all segments of society. The Kingdom’s government has successfully faced up to the challenge by restructuring the Saudi economy to become more competitive and dynamic.”
She said the number of students and teachers have doubled every 10 years since 1970 because of the government’s efforts. There are now five million female and male students attending 34,000 schools in the Kingdom.
She said government is continuing to invest in education and training. “In the state’s budget for the new fiscal year 2012, an amount of SR137.9 billion was allocated for education and training, representing more than 25 percent of the total spending in the budget. This is to fulfill the vision of King Abdullah, to convert the Kingdom into a knowledge-based society by 2022.”
She said that the government wants to tap the potential and creativity of its youth and workers and ensure it can develop a diversified economy.
She said the Kingdom’s education curricula are based on Islamic values, the Arabic language and its national heritage.
Other education initiatives under way include the restructuring of the education sector and the creation of an independent evaluation authority. – SG/SPA