Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

The viral photoshopped photo of King Faisal, Star Wars character Yoda signing UN charter in 1945. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 26 September 2017

Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

JEDDAH: Saud Arabia’s education minister has sacked an undersecretary in the ministry after the discovery of a photo in school text books showing the late King Faisal at the United Nations with the “Star Wars” character “Yoda” superimposed next to him.
Minister of Education Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa announced the termination on Tuesday of Mohammed bin Attia Al-Harthi, undersecretary for educational curricula and programs, along with the team of supervisors that reviewed and approved textbooks in the government agency.
Despite the teams of staff tasked with checking educational material, the spoof photo went unnoticed. It was only spotted in the text books by social studies students during a lesson on the United Nations,
The historic photo showing the late King Faisal signing the UN charter in 1945 has become iconic, so the addition of the little green “Jedi master” should have been easily spotted before the book went to print.
Al-Essa has assigned the printing and reviewing of school books to the Tatweer Company for Educational Services. A committee has also been formed headed by Deputy Minister of Education Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Asimi.
Other members of the committee will include the undersecretary of planning and information, the secretary-general of education departments, the CEO of Tatweer, and general aupervisor of human resources.
The committee will be in charge of the restructuring of the Agency for Educational Curriculum and Programs.
Meanwhile Rashid bin Ghayyadh Al-Ghayyad has been appointed as undersecretary of educational curricula and programs.
There has been much controversy over mistakes in Saudi textbooks. The photo with the former king and “Yoda” – one of the most prominent heroes of the Star Wars series – went viral on Twitter, sparking a wave of sarcastic comments, as well as anger.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.