‘Knowledge-based society to help fight unemployment’



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Tuesday 25 December 2012

Last update 25 December 2012 2:25 am

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The deputy education minister has blamed some employees from within the ministry for standing in the way of change and progress.
“There are some employees who perceive their work at the ministry merely as a source of income. They disregard the ministry’s pivotal role in enhancing the nation’s educational development, and they forget that efficient teachers are the key to the ministry’s success and progress,” Al-Sabti said in an open dialogue session with senior education officials in Riyadh on Sunday.
The minister also criticized media sources including some Internet sites for inciting public anger over exaggerated faults and trivial issues. Furthermore, the minister went on to reveal that the media has largely ignored the remarkable achievements made by the ministry and the various education departments.
Commending the school directorates in Majama and Shaqra for moving out of rented buildings the minister said, “I am pleased with the way the directorates in Shaqra and Majama have vacated their rented buildings and moved to government properties. Many more schools are expected to move to government buildings soon.”
The dependence of schools on rented buildings has dropped to 22 percent from 41 percent in the past, he added. Al-Sabti revealed that the ministry plans to cooperate with the private sector to expand and improve kindergarten and nursery facilities.
Elaborating on some of the major challenges facing the ministry, Al-Sabti listed the government’s slow decision-making process and delays in implementing changes, as utmost concerns. He also highlighted the difficulties encountered by the ministry in obtaining land for school buildings, providing meals and transportation for students and maintaining the school property.
Al-Sabti expressed hope that the creation of a knowledge-based society would raise the quality of education in the Kingdom, ameliorate the unemployment problem and contribute to an increase in the country’s GDP.
He also stressed the importance of training and stimulating teachers with incentives to boost their dedication to the job, and periodically evaluating their performance.
“Creating a congenial atmosphere for learning is of vital importance for educational development. Teachers are also requested to be attentive to the health, personal conduct and character development of the student body,” Al-Sabti said.
The minister also disclosed the ministry’s plan to decentralize authority and restructure the education sector, so that schools become more efficiently organized.
During a meeting held at the Shoura Council, Al-Sabti commended the Minister of Education Prince Faisal bin Abdullah for the remarkable initiatives the ministry has undertaken and achieved, as well as the ministry’s future plans, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported on Monday.
The two-day meeting also discussed integrating the visions of the ministry departments and school administrations, as well as enhancing the self-evaluation of schools.

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