Prince Khaled, Haia chief in landmark talks



JEDDAH: ABDULLAH AL-BARGI

Published — Thursday 2 January 2014

Last update 3 January 2014 12:57 pm

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The vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to revamp the education system and create skilled future generations would be realized, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the newly appointed education minister, said in a statement.
Prince Khaled said the Education Ministry’s Tatweer development project would fulfill the objectives of ensuring the “child of today becomes the strong and honest man of tomorrow. We will do whatever it takes to make it happen,” he said.
The statement, carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday, was issued after Prince Khaled had a meeting at his office with Sheikh Abdullateef Al-Asheikh, the chief of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), who had visited to wish him well.
“We are all responsible for education and every official in this country should contribute to education reform,” Prince Khaled said.
“Education should be our shared project to help raise a generation able to compete in the production of knowledge in all disciplines,” he told the Haia chief, the statement said.
Prince Khaled said Saudi pride is built on Islamic law, on which the late King Abdulaziz established modern Saudi Arabia.
He pledged his support for the Haia and praised it for reminding the masses of their religious duties and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings.
“Just like some insiders tarnished the reputation of the Haia, Islam itself was defamed by those who created wars in its name,” he said.
Al-Asheikh thanked Prince Khaled for his support, saying that “we will be the biggest supporter of your enormous task to fulfill the nation’s future hopes in education.”
In an earlier meeting on Wednesday with Riyadh Gov. Prince Khaled Bin Bandar, the new minister said that “future projects will pave the way for a major overhaul of education systems and our job is to work on this with patience, team spirit, and in partnership with all government agencies.”
The priority is effective management to improve teacher performance and the work environment, he said.
Bloggers on social networks said that the understanding between the two moderate leaders raises hopes of a better future alliance between the education ministry and the Haia.
Commenting on the news, Abu Yara said: “It is important to rid education of extremists with radical views and organized affiliations, which have intruded onto the true and authentic domain of Islamic Shariah.”
He urged officials to introduce a more moderate and tolerant education system inspired by the companions and followers of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Abu Jameel said: “I’m really glad to see this harmony between the two faces of moderation in the country.”
A blogger named Mersal Al-Madina said: “We are looking forward to a distinguished, fair and pioneering era of education during Prince Khaled’s term.”

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