The Growth of the Education System in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Education and teaching till the late 19th century was restricted to writing, reading and the recitation of the Qur’an in all areas of what is now known as Saudi Arabia. The concept of Higher education in Islamic studies merely existed in the main cities only. The actual beginning of what is usually called nowadays “modern education” took place at the end of the 19th century. The modern education began in the Ottoman provinces of Al-Ahsa and Hijaz. Later on, in the early 1920s a few of the private sector schools started an initiative of offering non-religious courses and subjects in a few of the larger towns but officially the modern education was promoted by the state itself in 1930s. A vast network of schools was setup in the start of 1951. In the mid of year 1954 the ministry of education came into existence and its first minister was none other than Prince Fahd Bin Abd Al-Aziz. The education for girls on a public level began in 1964, though it was strongly opposed by the conservative circles but still the government pursued its project. The development plans introduced by the state in the 1970s and the 1980s played a pivotal part in establishing a strong and sound education system.

The literacy rate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was about 15% for men and about 2% for women but in 1990s this percentage saw a massive increase, for men it became 73% and for women it became 48% and later on in 2002 the percentage increased even more, 90.9% and 70.2%, respectively.

Whatever the facts may be, the thing worth mentioning here is that the Saudi government has made an exceptional effort in setting the standards of education quite high and that is clearly visible nowadays.

Some more Highlights of Saudi Education:

In Saudi Arabia, it is not compulsory to get education but still it is free for all and inclusive of health services and study course material. It means the stretch of education in is mainly dependent on the number of schools available in the various regions rather than the other factors. As of now, it seems that the state is working rigorously towards improving and increasing the rate of enrollment. According to some data:

In Year 1960 number of Students enrolled:

Boys: 22% and Girls: 2%

In Year 1981 number of Students enrolled:

Boys: 81% and Girls: 43%

In Year 1989 number of Students enrolled:

Boys: 1.4 million and Girls: 1.2 million

Nowadays, it is considered that the percentage of female students enrolled has exceeded the percentage of male students enrolled and this figure is for both schools and the universities. In the year 2001 and 2002 there were about 28000 public schools and colleges in Saudi Arabia, of which 16,600 schools and 73 colleges were for girls only. Whereas other educational and training institutions reached to a number of 214.

The current facts and figures reveal that about 1.19 million male and 1.64 female students are enrolled in schools in Saudi Arabia and another 1.5 million (both boys and girls) are registered in the private sector schools.

What We Need To Do To Save The American Educational System Part Three

To bring success to the American Educational System requires a rigorous non-political and non-union in- depth study lasting two to three years. Such a study needs to be done globally, state by state, town by town, city by city, and school system by school system. There are no overnight fixes, getting rid of teachers, pouring more money into the system doesn’t solve the problems. Certainly, creating school systems within schools systems with relative little supervision compounds the issues. Standardized testing does nothing other than cost the local school systems millions and millions of dollars. Going electronic does not insure success. What then, is the real challenge?

The challenge is to identify, honestly, the specific areas of failure. To do this America must be open, to envision how it can assure a higher level of student success in its schools, and hopefully, assure their chances of becoming productive citizens. Can we, as a nation, do this? We can and we must.

We need to make sure that we do not continue to spend time on unproven experimentation, change in school organization patterns, inadequate teacher preparation, and poorly constructed teacher-evaluation tools. The avoid the pitfall of repetition, the following process is recommended.

• Prioritize that which is most important in the continuation of our culture. (What are schools supposed to do?)
• Analyze the failure of those aspects of the education system that have denied the achievement of the prioritized list. (Why don’t students learn to read and to read with comprehension?)
• Recommend solutions that are long-range with built-in cyclic re-evaluation.
• Prioritize again with emphasis on those areas within the educational community that are most important to work on.

An excellent example of the use of failure analysis comes to us from NTSB. Whenever an airplane crashes every aspect of the involved plane, pilots, ground crews, service, fuel, weather, and mechanics receive painstaking analysis. Piece by piece the parts are examined. It is this type of scrutiny the American Educational System must undergo if achievable solutions are the goal.

What is the fundamental road block to this approach? It’s our social system. As a society, we discourage this kind of painstaking examination. No one likes to be put under the microscope. No one likes to admit failure. We, as a nation, have a definite mind-set to put mistakes behind us, to move on. Move on? To what? More failures?

Norman W Wilson, PhD

Which Mode of Education Will You Choose? A Traditional or an Online Education System

With time and evolvement in the technology there is a change in the education system. Now we have different modes of education i.e. the traditional education, distance learning and the online courses. All have importance of their own and all will equally help us in providing us with great level of education and also in getting better employment opportunities. The traditional mode of education is still the most popular and the most expensive among all. Distance learning is not very popular as it doesn’t give the best mode of education for the students and also lacks in the provision of knowledge. Online courses is however, getting more and more popular with each passing day and is also less expensive and, in some cases, even is free.

Neglecting distance learning for this post only, we can compare the traditional and the online mode of education. A student enrolled in an online mode of education can get education from short courses to degree programs, whereas a traditional mode of education, for sure will provide every type of education to every class of student. There are online universities, colleges and other institutes providing online courses and then there are regular institutes providing education to both the traditional and the online students. The choice of education is up to the student. The student can get education through any medium and that all depends on the availability of the student.

The case for a traditional mode of education

Traditional education is the oldest and the most common way of getting education and it’s also the recommended way of study for the young students. We can look at the pros and cons of this mode of education to know it better:

Advantages

  • A one-to-one interaction between the teacher and the student. It’s easy to deliver things to the ones sitting in front of you and also easy to get for the students to understand in a better way.
  • The most common way of providing education.
  • Can choose from number of options.
  • The more preferable by all i.e. the students, the teachers, parents and the government also.
  • Education along with other facilities like: cafeterias, libraries, sport and other recreational activities.

Disadvantages

  • Education is expensive, especially in institutes where the standards, quality and the system of education is on a much higher level.
  • Students can have to travel long distances to reach to their educational institutes and sometimes even have to move to other locations in order to get a good standard of education. This will also increase their expenses.
  • Not very suitable for students doing a full-time job.
  • Not much flexible in terms of study hours.

The case of an online mode of education

Not very new, but as compare to the traditional education mode is new. This too has its own pros and cons and these must be kept into considerations before opting any online course:

Advantages

  • Usually cheaper than the traditional education system, as the cost is minimized to the lowest level.
  • A good but less effective mode of interaction between a teacher and a student.
  • The option to get education from any online institute, no matter how far that institute is. This will minimize the cost of travelling and other expenses.
  • Is more suitable for the people in full-time employment.
  • A vast option for online courses is available for students, seeking education through the online mode.
  • Flexibility in the study hours.

Disadvantages

  • Students are unable to get the facility of any recreational and sports activities, a traditional student can get.
  • As this mode requires an internet connection and a computer system, and these are meant to be effected by any natural or unnatural cause, their education can be affected badly.
  • Not preferable by everyone and is not very effective as compared to the traditional mode of education.
  • Although, vast online courses are available but still there is a limitation on this. You can’t become a practicing surgeon or a doctor through getting education by this mode of education.

This is just a short review on the traditional and the online mode of education system, a much vast comparison can be made and then the conclusion can be made in choosing the best education system. Each of these systems have their own benefits and drawbacks and that too will differ for every type of education seeker.