RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), the Ministry of Education, and the Education and Training Evaluation Authority represented by the National Center for Assessment announced the results of this year’s National Program for Gifted Identification.
“Participants included students from 40 different nationalities and Saudi students from 13 different regions in the Kingdom,” said Dr. Basil Al-Sadhan, Mawhiba’s deputy secretary-general.
Last year, the competition saw the participation of 17,000 students, while this year, it featured 25,000 students, said Dr. Mohammed Al-Moqbel, undersecretary of the Ministry of Education.
Compared to last year, there was “a huge increase in the number of discovered gifted students,” said Al-Sadhan.
The aim of the program is to discover students who are gifted in science and technology and to direct them through appropriate care programs.
“Gifted, promising students and their accomplishments should be reflected in our society, to raise the spirit of competition among students,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Qatie, executive director of the National Center for Assessment.
“An important element for the success of this program is to train teachers on how to spot and deal with gifted students. A teacher who is trained to deal with gifted students has to be carefully selected,” he said.
He added: “It is our responsibility and priority to provide gifted students with a suitable, safe and supportive environment.”
In light of the increased number of students participating this year, Mawhiba has announced new plans to further improve the effectiveness of the program.
These include opening an international training program for high school students, led by researchers from prestigious universities; reaching out to undiscovered gifted students residing in small towns in the Kingdom; and improving on the special curriculum for gifted students.