Mergers may help schools surmount funds crisis

Mergers may help schools surmount funds crisis
Updated 15 September 2013

Mergers may help schools surmount funds crisis

Mergers may help schools surmount funds crisis

The Council of Saudi Chambers is moving to implement a directive from the Ministry of Education to convert local private and international schools into major educational investment companies through mergers and acquisitions.
The council will host the seventh national education committee meeting in Hail to discuss and sign the initial plan for integrating private and international schools together and transforming them into large companies.
Omar Al-Amer, vice president of the National Education Committee, revealed that the meeting will discuss ways to meet future challenges. The mergers are expected to bring an end to the current fiscal challenges facing some schools.
Al-Amer added that the merger, being implemented by creating big clusters of schools and converting them to educational investment companies, is the overall objective of the Ministry of Education, especially as the number of private schools in Kingdom stands at 3,500.
Meanwhile, Khaled Al-Saif, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hail, called on national investment companies in the educational sector to finance and encourage scientific projects in the region.
The seventh national education committee meeting is set to address vital issues related to the educational sector in Hail, as well as throughout the Kingdom, Al-Saif said.
The chairman stressed that the success of the plan depends on the support and financial backing provided by national companies as partners in education.
The plan aims to pilot specialized schools that would apply international standard in the field of education to provide higher quality education. In addition, officials expect it will help upgrade educational output for students in the Hail region and provide students with an attractive learning environment and create more competition between national schools and companies investing in this field.
Al-Saif emphasized the fact that the state would be able to save more than SR17 billion a year if the capacity of private education reaches 25 percent.
The education sector currently provides more than 15,000 jobs for Saudis and has the capacity of doubling this figure if resources are provided.
Investment in private education is far less than expectation. The participation rate in private sector investment in education currently does not exceed 9 percent despite the growth rates recorded in the sector through development plans.