This paper "Development of Education in Saudi Arabia" focuses on the potential of development of a country is based on its ability to develop and exploit its human resource. Human resource development determines the economic path a country follows and is critical for the betterment of the lives of the present and future generations.
Saudi Arabia government is alive to this fact and invests significant investments in its educational program covering elementary, secondary and higher education. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies about 80 percent of the Arabian Peninsula has a total area of 2, 2400,000 km2.ii They note that the population in Saudi Arabia is largely skewed with statistics showing that Saudis aged who are 14 and below account for 40 percent for a country with a total population of 27 million. This means that the country should invest heavily in education and health sector to guarantee proper upbringing for its young generation. Previously, the Arabian Peninsula existed as different parts until 1932 when King Abdulaziz Ibn Saudi was recognized the king of Saudi Arabia has taken over control of Hejaz, Sultan Nejd and the Dependencies in 1926.iii The kingdom did not have a formal educational system until 1369/70 AH (1949/50 AD).iv Prior to the introduction of a formal educational system, traditional educational was followed known as ‘’kuttab’’. In this form of education, the schools were only open to boys although young girls could be allowed to attend kuttabs.v However, girls were to learn from their homes. The education system was established following massive support and lobbying from Prince Fahd Ibn Abdel Aziz who later became a king. The education system in Saudi Arabia is based on religion.vi Saudi Arabia developed its educational policy based on a formula that is relevant to all societies as postulated by Arnold Anderson. Anderson explained that in the provision of education every society has an objective of meeting three basic requirements which include: a capability to offer training to those to utilize such skills; equal opportunity for all members of the society and offer respect an individual’s right to choice in education thereby allowing flexibility.vii This paper will assess the development of education in Saudi Arabia. It will first provide an overview of economic development in Saudi Arabia followed by a discussion on the advancement of the various institutions involved with ensuring the provision of quality education such as the ministry of education and advancement in elementary, high school and higher education. Additionally, the paper will seek to discuss the advancement of private and sector education sectors and how women education is perceived in the country as an indicator of equality. Lastly, the paper will bring out the governmental scholarship plans and their benefits to the society. Saudi Arabia has experienced steady and significant economic development parallel to political and societal change.viii The country posted a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 6.8 percent in the last year’s fiscal year. The country has posted impressive GDP ratings given that between 1968 and 2010, Saudi Arabia has had an average quarterly figure of 5.03 percent. Prior to the establishment of the modern Saudi Arabia kingdom in 1932, the society largely depended on agriculture and trade; exporting dates and trading with pilgrims visiting Makkah and Madinah.ix The country was devoid of any infrastructure necessary to support economic growth. However, things took a dramatic twist in 1938 with discovery exploitable of oil deposits and after the Second World War, oil exports helped the country acquire the necessary resources to implement infrastructural developments building world-class roads, schools, hospitals and seaports. ...
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