Critical thinking and philosophy to be taught in Saudi schools

The program aims to boost students’ conference. (AFP)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Critical thinking and philosophy to be taught in Saudi schools

  • The Vision 2030 reform plan says education should be developed to focus on pupils not teachers, inculcate skills, improve confidence and promote a spirit of creativeness

Critical thinking and philosophy are to be taught at Saudi schools from this year, following a decision by the Education Ministry to revamp the curriculum for the 21st century.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Issa, former education minister, recently inaugurated a program that aims to improve independent thinking by encouraging questions and creating an environment conducive to respecting different viewpoints. The program also aims to boost student confidence.
Al-Issa said the course would be part of the “Life Skills” curriculum currently being taught until it became an independent course.
It had taken time and effort to introduce the new subjects and an international team had been brought in to work alongside local specialists, he added.
The next steps would be introducing school subjects on the law and financial literacy, he said.
A spokesman for the Education Ministry, Mubarak Al-Osaimi, said the subjects were in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan.
Critical thinking and problem solving were important skills and it was important for young people to master them to help with personal development, he added.
Information on the course would be available to students, their families, teachers and trainees in the form of textbooks and handbooks used in more than 60 countries worldwide, he told Arab News.
Al-Osaimi also said the ministry had provided every kind of support to scholarship students for university admissions and improving scholarship procedures.

Creativeness
The Vision 2030 reform plan says education should be developed to focus on pupils not teachers, inculcate skills, improve confidence and promote a spirit of creativeness.
Saudi Arabia has pledged to raise its literacy rate from 94.4 percent to 100 percent in the near future. The Kingdom leads many Arab and Asian countries in achieving literacy targets.
Last month, Sabya Directorate of Education in Jazan inaugurated the first virtual school for students with special needs.
The assistant director of education in Sabya governorate, Hanan bint Ali Al-Hazimi, inaugurated the school.
Al-Hazimi said the virtual school was important due to the hardships faced by students with special needs.
She said the virtual school aims to provide an opportunity to all those students who are otherwise unable to continue their studies.


King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

Updated 57 min 3 sec ago
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King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

RIYADH: King Salman on Saturday attended the closing ceremony of the 3rd King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near the capital Riyadh.

The king was received on his arrival by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, and a number of officials.

The king welcomed Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s representative Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al-Saadi, Kyrgyz Premier Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, representative of the King of Bahrain for Charity Works and Youth Affairs Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and other guests at the camel festival’s closing ceremony. The king then handed prizes to winners of the festival. King Salman and the attendees also watched a folk dance performance.

Saudi Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin said that the king’s patronage of the closing ceremony was the culmination of efforts to organize the festival and consolidate its heritage.