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Ambitions achieved in providing EFA

(1410 – 1420h.) (1990 – 1999)

Introduction

The educational field in Saoudi Arabia has witnessed a sustainable growth in the EFA policies and the implementation of the development plans. Official and non-official efforts were intensified for this purpose.

The period since Jumtien (1990) is one of the vital periods in this field. In fact, it witnessed the start of the educational process in all its aspects with special concern given to the students as the axis of the educational process. The other elements of the educational process have also witnessed a growth that had effects on the educational arena and that helped achieving many EFA principles including:

  1. the political commitment that makes education, its funding, dissemination and development at the top level of the State’s concerns.
  2. Administrative and educational reforms in all education-based and relevant sectors. The educational sectors have witnessed sustainable growth in their programs that aimed at achieving a better performance in implementing their policies and programs as well as increasing and improving their output sufficiency.
  3. Being aware of the important role the teacher plays in the educational process. In fact, efforts centered on lifting the level of qualification of the primary stage teachers to a baccalaureate level. This required the development of the teachers’ training institutions so that they can give a baccalaureate degree.
  4. Developing the infrastructures of the supervising bodies by creating units for implementing the educational policies and education-related development plans. The most important achievements in this field are the following:

In this section of the report, we will mention the most important achievements in EFA in the following fields:

Results accomplished in the 1410 – 1415h. (1990-1995) period towards EFA:

The review of the achievements of the fifth development plan revealed that the education sector has received the interest and care of the State, because the latter was convinced that investing in the human capital is the backbone of the economic growth and social prosperity, this was clear in the credits that were cut from the State budgets. This sector has got, during the fifth development plan, more than 135 billion ryals representing around 18% of the budgets adopted for the same period of time.

These crises have had direct effect on high growth rates in all the changes of the educational sector. The growth rates of the educational changes in the 1409/1410h. (1989 – 1990) and 1413/1414h. (1993 – 1994) have witnessed a considerable progress; in fact, the number of enrolled increased in the primary education stage by an annual growth average of 3,8% for males and 54,6% for females. In the intermediate stage, it increased by an annual growth average of 7,4% and 10,1% for males and females respectively. As for the secondary stage, it increased by an annual growth average of 5,4% for males and 11% for females. The enrollment rate at the teachers’ faculties also increased during the same period of time by an annual growth average of 12,5% for male teachers and 20,3% for female teachers.

Moreover, the main equipment of the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency for Girls’ Education expanded during the fifth development plan. The number of schools increased (for girls and boys) between 1989 – 1990 and 1993 – 1994 from 8370 to 10000 for primary schools, from 2884 to 4000 for intermediate schools, and from 1103 to 1700 for secondary schools. The faculties for training teachers also increased during the same period from 40 to 43.

The total number of students also increased in the sector of higher education by an annual growth average of 7,1% and the number of graduates of this system grew by an annual growth average of 5,3%. This growth was accompanied by a growth in the number of the teaching staff; the number of Saoudis amongst them grew by an annual average of 4%. These rates were achieved thanks to the education activities that increased from 23 billion ryals in 1409/1410h. (1989 / 1990) to 30 billion ryals in 1413/1414h.

As far as the policies are concerned, the public education sector in the Kingdom witnessed during the fifth development plan important developments in the field of implementing policies and taking measures in all the educational dimensions such as:

Consolidation of education funds

Education funds is one the main priorities of the government’s concerns in Saoudi Arabia in accordance with the strong development witnessed by the educational system in quantity and in quality during the successive national development plans. Article 233 of education policy document in Saoudi Arabia stipulates that "education is free of charge for all types and stages and the State does not impose any fees on it". This reflects the interest and the position education has in the global development process in the Kingdom in all the fields. The following chart reveals the volume of the Government expenditures on education for the years 1410-1420h.

The educational indicators have accomplished a big growth by all standards by providing free education opportunities to all citizens and even by spending on some rewards to some specializations as an encouragement by the State such as: the technical education and vocational training institutes, the scientific institutes attached to the Imam Mohammed Ben Saoud Islamic university, disabled students or students with special needs, university students. The number of students enrolled in public education reached four and a half million in 1419/1420h. (1999-2000). In order to face this number and the coming ones, it is necessary to search for additional sources to improve education funding and to contribute by bearing the financial burden along with the State budget. This has indeed become a prerequisite for improving expenditures on education.

There is awareness of the importance of investing in the educational sectors and the development of human resources. This is revealed in the following chart:

Chart number [1]

Government expenditures on education

For the years 1410-1420h. (1990-1998)

Financial years

State public budget

Education sector budget

Education state / budget

1410 / 1411 ( 1990 / 1991 )

135908

25460

18.7 %

1411 / 1412 ( 1991 / 1992 )

135827

25475

14.8 %

1412 / 1413 (1992 / 1993 )

17400

30800

17.7 %

1413 / 1414 ( 1993 / 1994 )

196950

31590

16.0 %

1414 / 1415 ( 1994 /1995 )

160000

28817

18.0 %

1415 / 1416 ( 1995 / 1996 )

150000

26541

17.8 %

1416 / 1417 ( 1996 / 1997 )

160000

27205

17.0 %

1417 / 1418 ( 1997 / 1998 )

181000

41264

22.0 %

1418 /1419 ( 1998 / 1999 )

196000

45595

23.3 %

TOTAL

1489685

282747

19 %

The previous chart reveals that the total amount of Government expenditures consecrated to education during these years is about 287,747 billion ryals. The share of the education sector of the State budget for this year 1418/1419h. is 23,3%, which reflects clearly the importance of this sector for the Government of Saoudi Arabia.

The private sector plays a clear and regular role in the educational process. It is a role that is homogeneous with the characteristics of education that make its the difference from the pure profit activities. This is possible thanks to the supervising role of the government institutions that are in charge of education.

Here are some examples of the participation of the private sector in the educational efforts:

This is an education that relies on efforts undertaken by individuals and private institutions under the supervision of the State. The non-governmental school is an institution that provides any kind of public or private education before the higher education stage. The non-governmental education sector in Saoudi Arabia asks schools that are part of the list published in 1395h. (1975) to organize school affairs, donations, administrative, technical and educational activities control actions. If we have a look at the non-governmental sector, we notice a quick growth in the number of both students and schools. This confirms the State concern to support the non-governmental effort and to promote in education. Chart number 2 reveals this growth for the last ten years.

Chart number [2]

Statistics of non-governmental education for 1410-1418h. (1990-1998)

Date

Nb of schools

Nb of students

Nb of classes

Nb of teachers

1410 ( 1990 )

317

69550

2802

4450

1411 ( 1991 )

334

66686

2991

4740

1412 ( 1992 )

358

79147

3449

5484

1413 ( 1993 )

410

94616

4142

6585

1414 ( 1994 )

461

107593

4932

7842

1415 ( 1995 )

487

122520

5597

8899

1416 ( 1996 )

568

132621

6266

9963

1417 ( 1997 )

609

141000

6500

10335

1418 ( 1998 )

655

147226

7318

14735

There are some programs that require bilateral action –from both the private sector and the educational institutions- and that contribute to the development of the educational process. If we take the Ministry of Education as an example, we notice the following:

  1. training program for the primary and intermediate stages:
  2. This program aims at introducing computer courses to the primary and intermediate stages and training students and teachers as well schools staff on computer.

  3. computer and information degree program:
  4. This program is implemented by a specialized computer institution. It aims at training the Ministry of Education teachers in all the Kingdom on teaching computer science and using it as an educational means for the secondary stage students.

  5. the cooperative school transport project:
  6. This project aims at providing transport to students in private vehicles. It is called the cooperative school transport project and provides transport for students from and to schools, with reduced costs and by a private company. The transport means provided in this project are comfortable and with a high level of traffic safety.

  7. the charitable role of the private sector:

Some wealthier citizens, convinced of the importance of education, of the charitable actions and of their true citizenship, undertake initiatives by providing the necessary funds for the educational institutions. As for the designs, the site selection and the execution monitoring, they are all the concern of the governmental educational bodies.

Improvement of the quality and the quantity of EFA:

The quantitative growth in education was accompanied by a qualitative development that expresses the fruitful efforts undertaken by the State for increasing the education sufficiency in general and EFA in particular as a way towards developing human resources and improving their efficiency and quality. The most important development programs in public education during the last ten years can be summarized as follows:

The primary and intermediate stages:

The State considers these two stages as representing an essential basis for teaching and developing life skills. Many studies were made for merging the two stages (in fundamental education) even if the education chart still separates between the two. However, the development efforts deal with the educational process in both stages with the concern of providing all the necessary conditions for students to continue their education until the end of the third grade of intermediate stage.

These two stages witnessed a considerable growth that is revealed in the following:

  1. giving interest to the first grade of the primary stage and stressing on ensuring the adequate educational atmosphere for children in this early age through educational guidance and programmed admittance during the first weeks in order to let children get acquainted with the school atmosphere.
  2. Amending the study plan for the first primary grade and stressing on reading and writing skills, activities and the targeted spelling storytelling that suits children of this age and provides them with good desired behaviour.
  3. Facilitating learning Arabic language that constitutes an essential pillar for learning other sciences.
  4. Integrating decisions for national education starting from the fourth primary grade until the end of the secondary stage in order to raise citizens capable of developing themselves and serving their country.
  5. Increasing the efficiency of the school health programs in the primary education itself as well as in the other school stages.
  6. Facilitating the process of tackling the mathematical concepts and developing their methodologies and schoolbooks.
  7. Promoting the students’ activities as an essential part of the curriculum in its global concept and in all social, sports, cultural and scouting fields in the process of building the student’s personality.
  8. Developing the English courses starting from the intermediate stage in order to facilitate its learning.
  9. Examining the students’ guidance programs for good effects on the students’ behaviour inside and outside school.
  10. Developing learning strategies and methods by stressing on required skills and desired behaviour and rendering the educational process more efficient with output corresponding to targets. We can mention here that developing public education has taken new directions stressing on:
  1. Making these two stages (primary and intermediate) meet the basic needs of the individuals and prepare them for playing their role in society.
  2. Making educational programs and curricula promote constructive behaviour and dealing with educational and technological changes on within the values of the Islamic chariaa and the true Arab traditions.
  3. Promoting the efficiency of the learning and teaching process in the field of the formal and non-formal basic education for children, youngsters and adults; asserting the importance of the national specificity in developing the curricula, the teachers’ efficiency and the educational environment; taking into consideration all issues related to knowledge and skills development with targeted learners; establishing prospective plans on the basis of educational, psychological and social studies in the fields of learning, measuring and educational assessment.
  4. Introducing computers to primary and intermediate schools within an ambitious national project for using computers in education.
  5. Developing the school administration in a way that the school becomes the basic unit in education and giving the school managers sufficient prerogatives for managing the school and be open to society.

Facing repetition and drop-outs

The educational institutions are aware of the fact that the problem related to dropout and repetition is one of the most dangerous problems to the sufficiency of the educational system. The educational institutions examined the dropout reasons and the means to eliminate it because it constitutes a loss of important resources.

The efforts undertaken to face dropout are the following:

- providing primary education for all children of the age category 6 to 12 in order to struggle against illiteracy.

The fourth development plan stressed the need to achieve compulsory primary education then the fifth development plan (1990-1995) reasserted the measures that should be taken for achieving compulsory education.

These and other measures increased the sufficiency rate of education as well as efficiency during the last years. The statistical indicators show decrease in dropout rate in primary education for the year 1418h. (1998) as it appears in chart number 3.

Chart number [3]

Promotion, repetition and drop-out rates for the Saoudi students (boys – girls)

1418/1419h.

Academic

Enrollment

   

Students per grades

     

year

status

First grade

Second grade

Third grade

Fourth grade

Fifth grade

Sixth grade

 

Promotion

90.2

95.1

92.9

91.7

90.7

96.0

1418 / 1419

Repition

7.8

4.9

6.6

7.4

7.7

2.8

 

Drop - up

2.0

0.0

0.5

0.8

1.6

1.2

The General Directorate for Educational Research of the Educational Development Center at the Ministry of Education, interested in continuing the search for the reasons of repetition and drop-out and seeking to find serious solutions, has started since the mid academic year 1416h. (1996) a scientific field study on dropout.

The main objectives of this study can be summarized as follows: determining the volume of repetition and drop-out in the primary and intermediate stages; determining the most important reasons for this and the effect of each one of them; proposing adequate solutions. The study is executed by the real class method although it is difficult to work with this method that relies on following the students’ flow and school path through studying real classes. This consists on following two real classes of Saoudi new entrants, one for first primary grade and the other one for first intermediate grade. Then they are followed for eight years for the primary class and five years for the intermediate class, the average stay of each of the two stages. Effective implementation work for this study has started with clear executive steps and a fixed action plan.

The preliminary indicators of the study show improvement in promotion and survival rates. Therefore, the study recommended the following:

  1. The necessity to ask the primary schools not to admit students of less than the formal enrollment age in the first primary stage.
  2. The need to ask school managers to stick to the rules and administrative regulations for students’ promotion.
  3. The need to reconsider the courses for which the indicators have shown an increase in the repetition rates for the primary and intermediate stages; to urge the relevant sectors at the Ministry to study this situation urgently and find solutions for the problem.
  4. The necessity to reconsider the classes for which the repetition rate increased.

New mechanism for improving education sufficiency

"Rules of Student’s assessment" (1420h. / 1999)

The new rules of Student’s assessment is considered as one of the ways that can lead to the development of education and improvement of its sufficiency in accordance with the citizens’ needs and march towards development. These rules aim at developing more adequate and precise practices of the concept and requirements of assessment as one of the important elements of educational methodology.

The rules confirmed the importance of dealing with the students’ assessment tools especially exams in a targeted way. A special course was consecrated to the clarification of the general assessment rules; it specifies that students’ assessment has psychological and educational effects and that it is not a goal in itself neither a means for sanctioning, but a source of information needed by the teachers to rectify their methods on one hand and dealing with the difficulties that the students face and help them develop their skills on the other hand. Therefore, the exams should take place in a positive educational atmosphere without being a source of anxiety and fear if it were to provide positive effects of schools on the students’ behaviour and thinking. The rules also stressed the necessity to improve the level of exam preparation, to implement it, to analyze its results and benefit from them for modifying the teaching methods and adjusting the educational skills provided by the methodology as a step towards developing the educational process as a whole.

One of the main principles of the new rules is the necessity to reduce the problem of repetition and dropout that is one of the most important problems with negative effects on education sufficiency. Repeated repetition leads to dropout which also leads to undesirable results on the family and the society. Therefore, the rules set regulations that could reduce the repetition rate and consequently the dropout rate.

The new rules also stressed the particular aspect of the early stage of primary education and the necessity to use teaching and training methods that are based on providing basic skills in all courses to students.

In order to have every child enrolled in a school, modifications were introduced to the enrollment regulations. EFA was facilitated with better and more flexible conditions. In the new rules there is no condition for the twelve-year-old students and above to enroll in the sixth primary grade for instance and they do not need any certificate for the previous grades.

Increased interest by the State in special needs education

Special education:

The special education is parallel to the public education flow chart. This kind of education is concerned by the people with mental, hearing and visual handicap. The Ministry of Education is charged of the monitoring and follow-up for boys while the General Presidency for Girls’ Education monitors and follows up the girls’ education. The non-governmental sector also participates in this field. As for the vocational training programs for disabled, it is the responsibility of the General Institution for technical education and vocational training.

The curriculum, the educational plan and the number of academic years depend on the needs of every disabled category. Both mental and hearing disabled can enroll in primary education (six years) and intermediate education (3 years) preceded by two preparatory years equaling kindergarten and aiming at preparing children for enrolling special education institutes. These children receive general culture as well as Islamic cultural notions within the children’s capacities. While in the intermediate stage education takes a practical professional aspect. The educational chart for the visual disabled starts from the primary stage to the intermediate stage then the secondary stage. There are the same stages and number of school years as well as equivalent certificates in this kind of education also.

The "Educational Policy in the Kingdom" document asserts the rights of disabled for education, care and encouragement depending on their potentials and capacities and within the precepts of Islam that considers education as an obligation for every individual in the nation.

In application of this policy, the State provided possibilities and facilitated means for establishing institutes and equipping them with the latest tools, educational means and specialized libraries. Many efforts concentrated on training special education teachers, efforts that led to a great development of the special education sector in the Kingdom and sought to provide wider services to categories that are planned to be assisted in the educational field so that they can continue education whatever the handicap is and in the best family, educational and social conditions possible.

The Kingdom is now achieving the goals of its disabled-targeted policy by the following endeavours:

Within few years, many important regulatory decisions were taken for developing the existing programs and finding new ones in the field of disabled education. This reveals the efforts undertaken and that will be undertaken by the State to provide better services for this category of people. Here are some of these regulatory decisions:

The Kingdom of Saoudi Arabia, represented by the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency for Girls’ Education – that are the supervising bodies of the special education along with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs - has developed social, sports, health, financial and promotional care for disabled students to allow them to expand the possibility for them to participate and get integrated with their fellows.

Many legislations, decisions and recommendations were issued for allowing disabled to participate as much as they can in economic and social life so that they can live with autonomy and self-reliance.

Services offered to the female students in special education:

The General Presidency for Girls’ Education established the General Secretariat for Special Education for this purpose. This institution would be in charge of the following:

  1. educational care:
  2. by providing educational opportunities in the existing institutes and by developing their administrative, educational and technical instruments. The development of special education for girls was represented by the increase in the number of institutes, classes, students and teachers.

  3. social activities;
  4. by supporting the fields of social activities and services of all kinds to the female students in special education such as regular visits to the social institutions in order to strengthen the links between the institute and the society for a good psychological and social adaptation of the student and preparing her for life.

  5. health care:
  6. by providing specialized doctors, nurses, technicians and pharmacists residing in the institute in order to ensure natural treatment and modern equipment for examination and treatment inside the institute. There are also awareness programs as well as the possibility to have first aid on sight and regular compulsory examination by female specialists along the academic year.

  7. financial advantages;

by providing monthly assistance to the special education institutes students during their studies.

The role of the Ministry of labour and Social Affairs in providing social care for the disabled:

The multiple care programs policy aims at preparing the disabled for living in a normal way and offering them the opportunity to accomplish their role and rely on themselves as productive members of the society.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs provides necessary social, psychological and health care for disabled of all categories and opportunities for some of them who have the capacity for the professions and craftsmanship that can be compatible with their capacities so that they can play their role in the work field and count on themselves for surviving and integrating society by:

  1. stressing on the importance of diversifying the rehabilitation programs in accordance with the type of handicap and consolidating the existing institutions and developing their programs
  2. providing job opportunities for the disabled especially those who have some difficulties in finding jobs.

There are two kinds of care:

  1. The institutional care for the disabled:
  2. Through the vocational and social rehabilitation centers; it is a new method relying on global rehabilitation and divided into vocational sections and social care sections for the most disabled. There are also the day care centers and the paralyzed children care institutions.

  3. External training "Training in the society"

This is a training that takes place in the public and private social institutions in joint training programs and plans by the training centers and institutions. This concerns the professions that are not served by the centers

Care for the disabled living with their natural families:

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs consecrated for this category financial assistance delivered to the people in charge of them. These students will be monitored and followed annually by specialists and technicians to be sure that they are receiving the best care possible.

Day care centers for special disabled children categories:

These centers started providing their services in the first year of the fifth plan (1410h. – 1990). The first center was opened in Ryad for children who are under 15 years of age and belonging to these categories. This kind of centers provides adequate care and rehabilitation programs for disabled children during the day hours in order to alleviate the burden of the people in charge of them especially those who work and cannot take care of their children during their working hours.

Taking care of the brilliant students:

Brilliant students have benefited from a special care provided by the Government to discover and develop their mental and intellectual capacities at the service of their nation. For this purpose, a pilot program was decided to discover brilliant students in all the regions of the country. As an example of the importance of this program, the King Abdel Azeez and his men Association was established and it is chaired by His Highness Prince Abdallh Ben Abdel Azeez.

This initiative stems from an educational policy that has consecrated that principle since a very long time. The educational policy document in the Kingdom contained texts that gave a strong interest to the brilliant students. Some of its articles stipulated the following:

Within this framework, efforts were intensified by the relevant educational institutions to take care of the brilliant students. The Ministry of Education and the King Abdel Azeez City for Science and technology cooperated to adopt a project for discovering brilliant students. The private sector has also a big share in supporting the efforts in this sense.

Extending activities and developing early childhood care:

The Kingdom of Saoudi Arabia, very much aware of the importance of prenatal and childhood care for the child’s future life, it put much interest on early childhood care within the Islamic teachings that promotes strong and solid bases for the families and children’s care. This is stipulated even in the statutes of the regime in the Kingdom; articles 9,10,11,12 and 13 stressed the necessity to link the members of the family together while providing all living means such as health, education, security, food, water and other living necessities in all regions.

The State intensifies the premarriage awareness programs through the information, culture and orientation means that stress the need for ensuring the conditions that guarantee the existence of a strong coherent family representing an adequate social milieu for strong healthy children. In this context, the medical guidance programs and the maternity prenatal and during pregnancy programs are intensified as well as intensive care for children since birth.

The State also takes care of the orphans through many programs such as social care and orphans’ care programs. The State provides services to disabled children through global programs including shelter, rehabilitation, treatment, education and insurance. It consecrates all the media to achieve global care for children of all ages.

Thanks to the wide capacities of the non-governmental sector, the State prepared the opportunities for participating in the social service for children in order to achieve communication and social solidarity that are promoted by our religion. The State provides the educational services for children in prescholar stage in the kindergarten (nursery, kindergarten, preliminary). This will be developed later on in this report.

Many governmental institutions participate in this preschool care namely the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Information and the general Presidency for Girls’ Education in addition to the special efforts undertaken by the non governmental sector especially the charitable associations and the non governmental schools that have developed their performance in this field especially as far as the children with special needs are concerned.

Adult illiteracy rate decrease:

The State promoted primary education, literacy actions and adult education because it considered that putting an end to illiteracy requires two parallel actions by providing education opportunities for all those who reached an acceptable primary school age on one hand and by extending the literacy and adult education programs and improving these programs for better efficiency on the other hand. The education programs and plans follow that principle. The illiteracy rate was reduced and will soon be eliminated.

Many primary schools are being spread while the number of literacy centers decreased, which asserts the relation between spreading primary education and ending illiteracy. This is reflected by article 30 of the government statutes in Saoudi Arabia that stipulates that the State should provide general education and struggle against illiteracy.

A clear development has taken place in the field of struggling against illiteracy and adult education; the educational policy reflected the interest given by the State to this type of education. In application of this policy indeed, the adult education and literacy regulations were issued. In article two of these regulations, the objective of ending illiteracy was determined; it stipulates that these regulations aim at ending illiteracy amongst citizens of all categories and preparing good self-relying citizens who can contribute to the revival of their society.

These regulations also gave the following definition of the illiterate: it is the person who does not know how to read nor how to write and who is more than the acceptable age for primary education and less than forty five years old. These regulations determined the efficient ways to struggle against illiteracy in article six:

Establishing a high committee for adult education and literacy actions that will be chaired by the Minister of Education and with the participation of many governmental bodies such as the General presidency for Girls’ Education, the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, the National Guards, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of the Interior.

These regulations also required two documents one regulatory and the other executive. The adult education regulations included a definition of the means of struggling against illiteracy as follows:

The struggle against illiteracy takes place with the means that are suitable for adults including:

  1. preparing regular classes for teaching illiterate people in all the regions of the country
  2. organizing selection campaigns concentrating on the places in which it is not easy to prepare regular classes like the Bedouin regions and the remote areas for the needed time for ending illiteracy
  3. setting adequate literacy programs through radio, television and the other media
  4. using mosques, summer compounds, clubs and gathering centers for the purpose of ending illiteracy.

The regulations urged the citizens to participate in literacy activities and allowed them to contribute to these efforts as follows:

The efforts undertaken by the Kingdom of Saoudi Arabia in the field of literacy and adult education targeted the following:

  1. ending illiteracy within the objectives and policies drawn by the plan
  2. providing optimal care for educating adults in quantity and in quality
  3. developing literacy curricula
  4. seeking to attract all illiterate people to the literacy and adult education centers
  5. seeking to reduce the drop-out rate amongst the literacy centers students
  6. trying to prepare opportunities for illiterates to continue their intermediate and secondary education and to develop the curricula of these schools so that they can achieve their goals and ambitions

In order to achieve these goals, joint efforts were undertaken to implement the content of the educational policy and the literacy regulations. An ambitious twenty-year literacy plan was set for men and women. Many parties contributed to these efforts including the Ministry of Education, the General Presidency for Girls’ Education, the National Guards and the Ministry of defense and Aviation. Here is a description of some of these efforts:

First – The efforts by the Ministry of Education

The ambitious twenty-year plan was accompanied by continuous efforts for developing the literacy and adult education curricula. In accordance with the global development concept adopted by the State in its second five-year plan for all fields, it cooperated with the World Bank for construction and reconstruction to adopt an urgent literacy program with advanced plan and curricula as well as books that are compatible with the different social and professional levels of the learners. This program was indeed implemented at the beginning of the academic year 1402/1403h. (1991-1992). After the assessment of the program, it was agreed with the Ministry of Planning to have courses at the literacy centers for three years only leading to the primary certificate and the possibility for the learners to continue intermediate education. A new curriculum for first grade in adult education was first implemented in 1410h. (1990) followed by the new curriculum for the second and third grades in 1991.

In order to struggle against illiteracy, the competent authorities try their best to generalize and improve primary education. They try to solve dropout by dealing with its reasons. It urges illiterates to enroll literacy programs that are spread everywhere. It encourages the learners and the employees to reach the desired goal. The State offer them the following:

  1. the managers, teachers, controllers and employees receive financial rewards for the efforts they have undertaken to struggle against illiteracy
  2. rewards are given to retired or other teachers who were useful for the purpose of ending illiteracy
  3. the follow-up education graduates receive a financial reward as an encouragement for them and for others to enroll in the adult education and literacy centers
  4. the learners should receive books, instruments and educational tools free of charge during the whole academic years
  5. diplomas are delivered to help get jobs, promotions or to continue in higher studies
  6. competent teachers are chosen especially those have morals and patience in dealing with some categories with different goals
  7. attraction is used as a means to get more learners who are never subject to discrimination
  8. the educational supervisor is chosen amongst the long-experienced in the adult education field and should know how to deal efficiently with teachers
  9. adequate curricula are prepared for the learners and are suitable for their age
  10. communication channels are opened between adult education and public education so that the learners will have the chance to get to higher stages
  11. mass media especially radio, television and telephones are used to discuss illiteracy issues and promote literacy programs
  12. the international occasions like the literacy international day, the literacy Arab day and the beginning of academic years to broadcast adequate awareness programs

There are also efforts undertaken to produce special TV programs for adult education and literacy in unconventional ways relying on the special needs concepts in dealing with adults. These programs are only the beginning of the journey to knowledge.

The efforts undertaken by Saoudi Arabia in struggling against illiteracy were crowned by the regional award delivered to the Ministry of Education by the Arab Education Culture and Science Organization, the international award delivered by the UNESCO to the Ministry of Defense and Aviation in 1417h. and the UNESCO award to the General Presidency for Girls’ Education in 1420.

Second – Efforts by the General Presidency for Girls’ Education

The General Presidency for Girls’ Education undertakes strong efforts in the field of struggling against illiteracy and female adult education. It opened many schools and classes for female illiterates to create awareness and invite them to enroll in schools and get educated. The illiteracy rate amongst women reached at the end of the fifth plan in 1419h. (1995) 36.72%. The sixth five-year plan that started in 1416h. (1996) stressed on the following objectives:


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