Once upon a time, in the land of the Two Holy Mosques, there was a Saudi female educator with a dream.
Most people would dream of material things such as money or power, but not this educator.
Her dream was unique, and some might say it’s hard to reach or even unachievable. This Saudi female didn’t believe in the word unachievable; it was not in her vocabulary.
Her motto in life was, “if you can dream it, then you can achieve it.” Before I can tell you her dream, I must give you some background information to prepare you for what the dream entails.
Countries worldwide have tried to close the gap between what is being taught at universities and what the job market needs in terms of skills and knowledge.
So, when fresh graduates enter the labor market, they are well equipped with what they ask on the job. To accomplish this, curriculums need to be adapted and constantly revisited to keep them up-to-date on what is relevant about the job in all the different majors.
School curriculums, starting from kindergarten or reception to university level, need to include techniques and materials that will allow for problem-solving, critical thinking, reasoning and synthesizing information.
These 21st-century skills will equip children and youth with practices that will grow with them as they do in life.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the skills of the future and how focusing on training programs with these skills will go a long way to advancing and making the Saudi workforce more competitive for the international labor market.
On Sept. 15, this Saudi female educator’s dream came true when Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman launched the Human Capability Development program.
The focus of this program was on developing a solid educational base for all citizens, preparing youth for the skills of the future, and upskilling citizens by providing lifelong learning opportunities to make sure Saudi citizens are competitive players in the global labor market.
This was exactly what our female educator wrote about in her educational articles, presentations and talks. She was always advising to incorporate these 21st-century skills in the curriculum at an early stage. As she always says, “If we fail to incorporate the future skills at an early stage, it will be very difficult for us to incorporate it later on and have it instilled in the mind of the youth.”
All these factors will help to prepare Saudi youth to compete in the global labor market.
• Dr. Taghreed Al-Saraj is a best-selling Saudi author, an international public speaker and an entrepreneurship mentor.