‘Saudi schools lack quality science and math teaching’



JEDDAH: FADIA JIFFRY

Published — Friday 19 July 2013

Last update 19 July 2013 6:31 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

According to a recent report by The Economist, education in Saudi schools fails to help students get a grip on mathematics and science.
However, the report published on July 13 did quote statistics showing that literacy in Saudi Arabia has grown rapidly from 10 percent in 1960 to 99 percent currently for children of school-leaving age.
The Economist report also states that the Kingdom “spends a greater share of its gross domestic product on education than most wealthy countries. Yet in a recent set of standardized global math tests, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), under half of Saudi 13-year-olds reached the lowest benchmark, compared with 99 percent in South Korea and 88 percent in England.”
“Barely 1 percent of the Saudi children tested gained an ‘advanced’ level, against 47 percent of South Korean and 8 percent of English ones.”
“This suggests that Saudi schools are not just of generally poor quality, but that they fail to encourage brighter students,” the report said.
Many students complain that due to heavy attention paid to subjects such as Arabic and Islamic studies, Saudi schools fall behind in covering science, technology and other areas.
“Apart from just academic instruction, there is no assistance or practice to prepare us for the labor market,” said Abdullah Rajab, a Saudi high school student.
Rajab wants to pursue his higher education in medical engineering and worries about the poor educational system in Saudi Arabia. He said that he is still deciding on a good institute abroad.
To deal with challenges in the education system, several Saudi organizations are in favor of hiring expatriates instead of Saudi nationals. However, the government is dealing with the situation by sending its students overseas for further studies.
Recently, Saudi Arabia signed a $1.1 billion contract with colleges in the United States, the UK, Canada and Spain to provide technical training to nationals.
Talal M. Alhammad, a Saudi studying a course in eastern languages and civilization at Harvard, had written in 2011 that Saudi Arabia had too uniform a system.
“One of the fundamental drawbacks of the Saudi academic system is its imposition of a national curriculum that does not vary across any public or private high school,” wrote Alhammad.
“The system requires that every student study identical academic material in the sciences, literature, and math regardless of where a student’s interest lies,” stated Alhammad. “Additionally, the material offered in many of these subjects is extremely lacking; history topics only cover the Islamic era, honors classes are nonexistent, and English classes are only available after the seventh grade at public high schools.”
Alhammad said that teachers encourage a method of unproductive memorization and an apparent understanding of facts for the sole purpose of passing a test. “This type of education extends far beyond high school to the college and university levels. Students are continuously taught ways to pass an exam rather than the proper approaches to learning.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A small fire broke out on the roof of the Grand Mosque on Monday morning, causing minor injuries to five people, including members of the Civil Defense, one security officer and three workers. The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. and covered an...
JEDDAH: The director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, Saleh Rasheed, has said that Sadeer Industrial City, which is regarded as one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom, possesses great capabilities that sets it apart as...
DAMMAM: Cheap and out of date cosmetics are causing serious health problems in the Kingdom, including skin diseases, hair loss and cancer, local doctors say.These products are often manufactured incorrectly or contain harmful fats, the doctors were q...
JEDDAH: Several young Saudis have started filming Jeddah’s historic district using cameras mounted on drones to gather professional 3D footage that can be used to build models and create virtual tours.Bandar Al-Mutlaq, owner of the Arab Foundation, w...
RIYADH: The Saudi capital is fully geared for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr celebrations that include an exciting bouquet of entertainment, heritage, sports, artistic and theatrical events.The annual Muslim festivities being organized here by the Riyadh mu...
JEDDAH: As part of its growing supervisory and investigative status, Riyadh Health Department’s forensics center examined 632 cases over the past eight months involving suspected murder, rape and abuse of women and children.Khaled bin Muhammad Hassan...
RIYADH: The Syrian Expatriates Medical Association (SEMA) expressed its thanks on Monday to Saudi organizations and individuals for donating to the campaign to help Syrians affected by the ongoing conflict.SEMA has 1,300 members in Syria and other co...
RIYADH: Inclusion of the Hail rock art in the UNESCO World Heritage List is proof of the Kingdom’s status and cultural profoundness, said the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) on Monday.Reacting to the announcement of the fou...
JEDDAH: The Yemeni community has asked the Saudi government to extend the rectification process, which ends Tuesday, claiming that there are many thousands still seeking to get proper identification documents to qualify for work visas in the Kingdom....
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has set up 343 electoral constituencies for the Dec. 12 municipal council elections.This was done on the orders of Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the minister and head of the General Committee for the Munici...
JEDDAH: Efforts are under way to electronically handle all Haj-related works to achieve speed and accuracy, as well as reduce costs an bring in transparency, Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar has said.Speaking at a workshop in Jeddah on Sunday, Hajjar sa...
JEDDAH: The Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works on Sunday held its third meeting in Jeddah in the presence of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, the board chairman, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has announced that six people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the period from June 28 to July 6.The ministry has now recorded 1,045 cases of MERS since June 2012, with 5...
ALKHOBAR: Patient visitations play an important role in the healing process, provided the well-wishers adopt the right approach by speaking and acting in a manner that the sick person’s morale is lifted. However, any wrong move by the visitor may aff...
MAKKAH: The price of residential land has registered a drastic 30 percent drop due to the slump in the market over the past six months, said an online newspaper.According to real estate dealers, the reason behind the decision was the imposition of 30...

Stay Connected

Facebook