In Saudi Arabia, education is increasingly been a priority industry and a major source of government support. To meet the government’s lofty goals for the industry as part of Saudi Vision 2030. The country’s economic diversification plan. The focus has recently switched to improving service efficiency and quality while also integrating technology. To achieve this, the government is constantly resorting to the private industry for assistance, opening up new potential for international investors. In 2019, several global corporations entered Saudi Arabia’s underdeveloped private general education sector.
Curricula are evolving favorably, but this transformation is gradual and insufficient in comparison to the abrupt changes in the field. Despite Minister Sheikh’s pledges of upcoming changes. Little has changed in the educational field (Widad Mohamed Ali).
Oversight & Structure
The Ministry of Education is in charge of developing and regulating the educational sector (MoE). The Ministry of Education (MoE) is the country’s biggest employer. Combined workers of around 800,000, including teachers, management, and administrative personnel. After absorbing the former Ministry of Higher Education in 2015 to better coordinate the policies and curriculum content of the general and higher education segments.
Education Ministry is responsible for teaching Saudi Arabia’s youth and training them for future employment under Vision 2030. With these goals in mind, the Ministry of Education has been reforming curricula and increasing educational standards across the country. To assist the sector’s continued expansion, the government is likewise aiming to enhance private sector participation.
Another significant aim under Vision 2030 is the expansion of technical and vocational training colleges. The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) is in charge of the Kingdom’s technical colleges, secondary schools, and vocational training centers. The TVTC launched the Schools of Excellence program in 2013, to improve vocational education and training performance by forming relationships with international universities.
Pre-primary (ages 3 to 5), primary (ages 6 to 11), secondary (ages 12 to 17), and tertiary (ages 18 and up) are the four levels of education in Saudi Arabia (ages 18 to 22). From ages of six to fourteen, compulsory schooling lasts nine years.
According to the most available data from UNESCO, gross enrolment rates in pre-primary, 99.8% in primary, 110.1 percent in secondary, and 68 percent in postsecondary education were 21.2 percent in pre-primary, 99.8% in primary, 110.1 percent in secondary, and 68 percent in tertiary education in 2018.
In that year, the Kingdom had 6.3 million students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. Private education accounted for 659,504 pupils or 10.1 percent of the total.
The remaining 5.6 million children were enroll in public schools. There have been 32,027 government-run elementary and high school schools with 434,593 teachers and 4666 private universities with 67,457 teachers in that year.
In 2018, around 2 million students were enroll in tertiary education, with 91,863 of them attending private higher education institutions. The remaining students, including 224,275 students pursuing technical and vocational degrees, were register in public institutions. The largest universities were King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah and King Faisal University in Hofuf, with 186,078 and 173,680 students, respectively.
Investment & Reforms
When Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud released Vision 2030 in 2016. The long-term goals for the sector included increasing standards, moving education expenditure to the private sector, and assisting at least five Saudi institutions to break into the world’s top-100 universities.
The $72 billion National Transformation Program (NTP), which spans from 2016 to 2020, which is the first stage of Vision 2030, includes educational aims. These goals include boosting math and English attainment by 15%, boosting pre-primary enrolment rates from 13% to 27.2 percent, reaching an adult literacy rate of 97.5 percent, and growing private school participation rates from 6% to 15%.
Reforms enacted recently
The administration has been working to enhance educational outcomes in the country. The ETEC was establish in 2017 to address complaints well about the quality of public and private primary, secondary, and postsecondary education. It is in charge of creating new mechanisms for assessing and accrediting institutions, teachers, and programs. The ETEC also establishes criteria and regulations for educational institutions seeking international accreditation.
The ETEC’s work complements current curriculum revisions in public schools aimed at boosting creative and critical thinking. The Ministry of Education announced in January 2019 that starting in the 2019/20 academic year; public schools will provide critical thinking, philosophy, financial literacy, and law classes. This is part of the Kingdom’s effort to diversify students’ skill sets and move away from rote learning.
The number of students enrolled in tertiary education institutions has increased dramatically in recent years, increasing at an annual rate of 8.4% between 2011 and 2018.
In 2018, 1.8 million students were enroll in college or university, up from around 1 million in 2011 and a lot of them buy assignment from online sites. As per the General Authority for statistics, the Kingdom has 28 state universities and colleges and 34 private establishments in that year.
Despite indicates that the number of private institutions has constantly increased. They only accounted for only 5.2 percent of all admissions in 2018. Nonetheless, between 2016 and 2020, participation in private universities increased at a CAGR of 15%, outperforming the public sector. Which expanded at a rate of 0.4 percent each year.
Even though university enrollment is steadily increasing. There is widespread agreement that tertiary education programs need to be better aligned with skills gaps and labor market demands.
According to regional media, approximately 63 percent of Saudi institutions solely offered humanities and Islamic studies programs and courses. Students can also get the best assignment writing service online these days as well for any related programs. Employers are increasingly looking for technology-based talents, thus this is likely to change.
Automation is growing more essential around the world. Tertiary education in Saudi Arabia must train the younger generation for this situation. By providing training based on emerging technology (Mohanad Dahlan).
There have been some positive changes. Many of the changes are being implemented by the Ministry of Education to modernize Saudi Arabia’s school system. And start preparing the country’s children for the future workforce will likely take years to yield fruit.
Given the significant opportunity for expansion in the private sector. And the need to build new institutions as enrollment rates continue to rise.
The Kingdom represents one of the world’s biggest and most appealing areas for investment. Foreign investment is expected to increase in the next years. Thanks to strong government backing for privatization as part of Vision 2030.
Private sector participation is not restricted to traditional educational institutions. The implementation of edtech initiatives allowing technology businesses to design innovative new technologies to revolutionize learning and teaching.