The plan includes building 1,500 nurseries, providing training for about 25,000 teachers and establishing educational centers and other related projects.
JEDDAH â€“ Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has approved a five-year plan worth more than SR80 billion ($21.33 billion) to develop the education sector, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.
The plan includes building 1,500 nurseries, providing training for about 25,000 teachers and establishing educational centers and other related projects, Education Minister Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was quoted as saying by SPA. The SR80 billion is in addition to what is being allocated annually to the Education Ministry.
Prince Khaled said the King endorsed the implementation of the executive working program in order to realize the goals of the King Abdullah Project for General Education Development (Tatweer), which has been introduced a few years ago to bring about dramatic changes in the Kingdomâ€™s education sector. The program consists of setting up and developing support service centers for special education, linking schools with high frequency Internet, setting up of smart class rooms, computer labs for e-education, special schools, and school clubs.
Tatweer also envisages creating appropriate school environment through expropriation of required plots of land, strengthening safety requirements, and setting up of endowments for general education to help find independent financial sources for the ministry without causing additional burden on the stateâ€™s general budget. The program also aims at construction and renovation of school buildings and carrying out their proper operation and maintenance.
According to Prince Khaled, the ministry has drafted a working mechanism to supervise the program so as to realize its noble objectives. â€œThe King also endorsed the formation of a higher-level committee comprising the concerned ministers to undertake general supervision of the programâ€™s implementation.â€
The minister said that the Kingâ€™s approval of the program emanates from his vision to make education an excellent model and core element for developing human resources and making investments in this vital sector. â€œThis approval will help the general education to have a qualitative leap which will benefit the Kingdom and its younger generations. The program will also improve the performance and standard of teachers and students alike,â€ he said.
The Kingdom is giving top priority to the development of education and training, with the appropriation of one-fourth of the total allocations for 2014. Out of the total expenditure, amounting to SR855 billion, the allocation for education and training was SR210 billion, a three percent increase compared to an all-time high of 21 percent last year.