Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education

Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education
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Dr. Hamad Al Alsheikh, Saudi Minister of Education inaugurated the Exhibition Of (ICEE) 2022 in Riyadh on Sunday. (MoE/Supplied)
Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education
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Dr. Hamad Al Alsheikh, Saudi Minister of Education delivering a speech at (ICEE) 2022 in Riyadh on Sunday. (MoE/Supplied)
Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education
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Dr. Hamad Al Alsheikh, Saudi Minister of Education, during the opening ceremony of the (ICEE) 2022 in Riyadh. (MoE/Supplied)
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Updated 09 May 2022

Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education

Saudi education minister stresses importance of ‘qualitative, flexible’ education
  • Local and international institutions attend Riyadh conference

RIYADH: Saudi Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh on Sunday stressed the importance of “qualitative, flexible education” and finding ways to overcome challenges through “creative planning, resilience, and quick implementation.”

He made the remarks at the opening ceremony for the International Conference and Exhibition for Education, which is being held in Riyadh.

The ICEE is one of the largest education forums to be held in the Middle East since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on contemporary issues in education, opportunities for developing education, and exchanging expertise and experiences to enhance global competitiveness.

One of the event’s main aims this year is to boost investment in the Saudi education sector.

Al-Sheikh said one of the Kingdom’s long-term goals was to enhance human capital, a goal that was in line with the objectives of the crown prince's Human Capacity Development Program.

“As part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, we hope to make our aspirations a reality by enabling every citizen in our country to realize their full potential,” he told the conference. “We will attain this goal by equipping our students to be global competitors and strong social and economic development building blocks. Through lifelong learning, they will be able to keep up with new technical and professional breakthroughs.”

He said the sector must not lose sight of obstacles and how to solve them, despite the educational resources available.

The minister underscored the importance of transformation because of its impact on a person's cognition, emotions, abilities, and values. He said that man and culture, the local community, and the global community were all entwined in this relationship, necessitating access to flexible and high-quality education.

He also spoke about the difficulties associated with economic conditions, factors, and global crises, which demanded innovative planning, swift adaptation, and well-balanced execution.

He said it was essential to understand global variables to keep up with advancements in the education sector and adjust to and influence such circumstances before they become detrimental.

He described the conference as “a worldwide opportunity to provide innovative solutions and non-traditional alternatives, face the challenges, and develop value-added recommendations for education.”

Dr. Ahmed bin Salem Al-Amri, the rector of Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, said the institution had worked hard to improve program quality, get most programs accredited locally and internationally, and achieve Vision 2030 objectives aimed at raising the university's position in international rankings.

It was recently listed in the top 200-300 in the world in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2022.

He told the conference that the institution continued to work hard during the pandemic and had achieved remarkable research results. The most notable was an increase in the number of publications last year.

The rate of faculty publication had increased to one paper per faculty member each year. It highlighted the university's desire to foster a conducive atmosphere for research, encourage accomplishment and innovation, and raise its profile locally, regionally, and worldwide.

Ahmed Al-Nashwan, chairman of the conference’s scientific committee, told Arab News last week that the event would focus on “urgent issues in education, presenting opportunities for developing education, and exchanging expertise and experiences that reflect the desire for global competitiveness.”

Sunday’s sessions saw the participation of UAE Minister of Education Hussain Al-Hammadi, Egyptian Education Minister Dr. Tarek Shawki, the UK prime minister’s special representative to Saudi Arabia for education Sir Steve Smith, and Dr. Jaime Saavedra, global director for education at the World Bank and Peru’s former education minister.

The ICEE runs until May 11 and addresses the theme of “Education in Times of Crises: Opportunities and Challenges.”

It discusses incentives for investment in the sector and solutions to overcome crises and challenges facing education as a whole. Improving the Kingdom’s institutions to reach international standards and indicators will also be on the agenda.

It is being attended by 110 local and 152 international exhibitors, local and global educational institutions, universities and international education centers, officials from the Ministry of Education, heads of public and private universities and their employees, and education experts from around the world.

On Monday, there will be discussions on global leadership to transform education, digital transformation in education, e-learning in the Kingdom, quality assurance, accreditation and ranking of e-learning, recent trends in teaching and learning, and curriculum development.


Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation
Updated 27 May 2022

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

Saudi crown prince, Greek PM discuss boosting joint cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call on Thursday from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Kingdom’s official SPA news agency reported.
During the call, they reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries, and discussed opportunities for joint cooperation in a number of fields.


Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health
Updated 27 May 2022

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health

Saudi minister hails Saudi Arabia’s role in public health
  • Al-Jalajel said that the Kingdom is one of the first countries that, during its leadership of the G20, initiated the extraordinary summit to combine efforts and contain the pandemic

GENEVA: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel has praised the contributions made by the Kingdom to support global public health.

His remarks came during a speech he delivered at the 75th session of the World Health Organization General Assembly in Geneva, where he headed the Kingdom’s delegation.

Al-Jalajel said that the Kingdom is one of the first countries that, during its leadership of the G20, initiated the extraordinary summit to combine efforts and contain the pandemic, which resulted in unprecedented global cooperation.

Al-Jalajel noted that the Kingdom contributed to the establishment of the WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools and COVAX Facility initiatives.

The Saudi minister further said that the total aid provided by the Kingdom through the initiatives and with direct support to developing countries amounted to approximately $770 million.

Al-Jalajel congratulated WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his reelection for a second five-year term and the renewal of the international community’s confidence in his leadership. 


No entry to Makkah without permit for expats

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats
Updated 27 May 2022

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats

No entry to Makkah without permit for expats
  • Measure will maintain order and security around holy sites, experts say

MAKKAH: The General Directorate of Public Security has required expatriates wishing to enter Makkah for Hajj to obtain a permit from authorities starting Thursday.

For expatriates to enter the holy city, one of the following documents is required: An entry permit to work in the holy sites issued by the competent authority, a residency permit (iqama) issued from Makkah, an Umrah permit or a Hajj permit.

Brig. Gen. Sami Al-Shuwairekh, the spokesman for Public Security, said that the measure was in line with the regulations for the Hajj pilgrimage for this year.

“As per these instructions, only expatriates who obtain a permit for entry to Makkah will be allowed into the holy city from Thursday. They can obtain permits from the competent authorities. All vehicles and residents that do not have the required documents will be turned back,” Al-Shuwairekh said.

Ahmed Saleh Al-Halabi, who specializes in Hajj and Umrah services, told Arab News that the changes are a result of years of monitoring entry to the holy sites. Practical measures can safely organize the entry of residents to Makkah, he said.

“This is in order to eradicate all sorts of infiltration of the holy sites, especially for residents who do not hold permits, and who are on vacation from their work and head to Makkah to work, or stay with their relatives and friends, and then infiltrate the holy sites to perform the pilgrimage. And as a result, they stay on sidewalks and sleep there which would impact the environment and the level of public cleanliness,” he added.

Dr. Othman Qazzaz, head of the media research and studies department at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research, told Arab News that the Kingdom is also making efforts to improve logistics services during Hajj, aiming to host a successful pilgrimage season.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties
Updated 26 May 2022

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties

Organization of Islamic Cooperation chief, US state secretary discuss bilateral ties
  • The two sides agreed on the importance of consolidating relations in various fields, in light of the challenges facing the world, foremost of which are the situations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia

WASHINGTON: During his official visit to the US, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha met US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the headquarters of the State Department in Washington, DC.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the OIC and the US and ways to enhance them, as well as the outcome of the first round of the strategic dialogue between the OIC and the US held May 23-24 in Washington.

The two sides agreed on the importance of consolidating relations in various fields, in light of the challenges facing the world, foremost of which are the situations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

They also concurred on the importance of continuing consultations on various issues that top the agenda of the OIC and the US, foremost of which is the fight against terrorism, extremism and Islamophobia, and international efforts to combat COVID-19 and its health, economic and social implications.

Recently, the OIC has spoken of how highly it values the social, cultural and economic achievements of the African continent. The OIC indicated it will spare no effort directing its various development projects to serve Africa. 


Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 
Updated 26 May 2022

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 

Saudi Justice Ministry launches Case Preparation Center 
  • The center prepares claim files to improve output and increase efficiency

RIYADH: Saudi Justice Minister Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani on Thursday inaugurated the Case Preparation Center, which prepares claim files to improve output and increase efficiency.

“The center employs well-qualified staff who have the expertise and skills required for operation. This will result in a better experience for litigants through specific criteria and indicators,” the ministry said.

The center provides various services, including for example preliminary study of a claim, the management of notices, summarizing minutes and briefs and composing draft rulings, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Osama Ghanem Al-Obaidy, adviser and professor of law at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh, told Arab News: “The launching of the Case Preparation Center is a good move towards improving case-related services provided by the Justice Ministry. This move will help raise the efficiency of court dockets and the review of cases in an expeditious manner and without unnecessary delay.”

He added: “The move will reduce the time spent in needless corrections and hearing delays due to cases and claims having insufficient, missing or inaccurate information or documentation.”