Saudi education minister sets 100-day deadline for change, seeking better performance, quality

Al-Sheikh, who was in Riyadh, stressed the importance of studying the current status of education and overcoming the challenges facing its development. (SPA)
Updated 13 January 2019
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Saudi education minister sets 100-day deadline for change, seeking better performance, quality

  • The minister pointed to the importance of addressing any possible imbalance in the distribution of schools and teachers, and any deficiency associated with the professional development of teachers

JEDDAH: The education minister on Saturday set a 100-day deadline to shake up teaching in the Kingdom, encouraging leaders in the sector to get away from their desks and out of the office.
Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh issued the challenge at a workshop assessing the status of the public education sector, its output and future work trends in order to achieve the goals laid out in the Vision 2030 reform plan.
Al-Sheikh, who was in Riyadh, stressed the importance of studying the current status of education and overcoming the challenges facing its development.
He gave education leaders 100 working days to achieve a different output by giving the sector more attention, away from office work as much as possible, and learning about all educational interactions away from desk reports.
The minister pointed to the importance of addressing any possible imbalance in the distribution of schools and teachers, and any deficiency associated with the professional development of teachers.
Educational output must be the main concern of every official, he told the workshop, and there must be a realistic and clear plan of action that did not get bogged down in useless and time-wasting theorization and strategies.
Workshop sessions were organized in groups and focused on the changes facing education such as privatization, financing, foreign competition and changes in labor market requirements.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.