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USSaudiForum - Panel 1 - Nada Ismail  - Building the Foundation for a Knowledge-Based Economy
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USSaudiForum - Panel 1 - Nada Ismail - Building the Foundation for a Knowledge-Based Economy

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The 3rd US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum was held Sep 16-18, 2013, bringing together officials, business people, educators and specialists highlighting the U.S.-Saudi trade relationship and how …

The 3rd US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum was held Sep 16-18, 2013, bringing together officials, business people, educators and specialists highlighting the U.S.-Saudi trade relationship and how U.S. companies can participate in Saudi Arabia's expansion.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing an extraordinary economic boom. Massive public investment, rapid private-sector growth and new sector initiatives are driving an expansion projected to offer more than $1 trillion in trade and investment opportunities over the next decade.

This panel of distinguished experts highlighted the Saudi K-12 education reform and building the foundation for a knowledge-based economy.

Published in: Education, Travel, Business

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  • Your Highness , Excellencies, Honorable guests , ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon ,It is a great pleasure and honor to participate in this special event .
  • A country’s most valuable resource is its people. And through education and development this resource will drive the country towards growth and success. In the mid-twenties, the number of schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was only 4 schools. That number has dramatically increased over the years, and that number exceeds 34,700 schools throughout the country.
  • During this period, The Ministry of Education’s responsibility became more important. Especially as it transitioned from quantitative goals to qualitative ones. With an emphasis on improving the outcome of education and increasing the success and achievements of its initiatives. This involved the focus on specific strategies that included: • Transitioning from a classroom based on memorization, to learning by sharing and understanding Changing the role of the teacher from being the only source of learning, to becoming one of many learning resources. Therefore, the student was transformed from a recipient of information to an active participant and the center of the educational experience. And that student, along with the Teacher are The two most important elements in the Ministry of Education’s mission
  • The teacher, being an important player in the student’s learning process ,as the responsibility to continue to develop through proper material selection, good preparation, continuous training, motivation and evaluation. Hence the Ministry has created initiatives to develop and prepare new teachers: • one of which, is collaborating with Saudi Universities on placing specific acceptance criteria for students applying to programs geared towards graduating future teachers. Also, forming a committee with the Ministry of Higher Education to oversee the curricula offered at these universities. • another initiative was the Selection of new teachers through The National Center for Assessment in Higher Education. in addition, a new orientation program for New Teachers has been implemented, to train and prepare fresh graduates by seasoned and experienced fellow teachers, the program also offers ongoing training for continuous development.
  • And to complement these efforts a teachers Education Excellence Award was created, to recognize and honor distinguished teachers.
  • As for the second element in our mission, the Student, He and She are encouraged to play an activate role in the educational process, and this is achieved through designing curricula that focuses on critical thinking, continuous learning , and the utilization of technology, and the various sources of learning.
  • The Ministry of Education made sure that the updated curricula contains: Positive and modern trends of learning approaches such as critical thinking, problem-solving and self-learning skills. The development of the student’s performance skills and focusing on the actual practice of activities. The integration of subjects throughout the different stages. And finally give the students the opportunity to select activities suitable to their capabilities and needs.
  • The Ministry focused on the development and enrichment of the educational curricula through several successive projects: first of which was the (Math And Science Development Project):, Saudi Arabia has given special attention to the development in both science and mathematics curricula in order to keep up with the rapid changes in international standards and modern educational theories. And to provide encouraging learning environments to achieve high levels of quality. At the same time improve student achievement by employing technical development in communication and information. And This project aims to prepare suitable textbooks and educational materials for science and mathematics through a partnership with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States and the Obeikan Investment Group, translated books from internationally recognized curricula such as ("McGraw Hill Education"),were adapted to be more suitable to the Saudi society. The project started by preparation and harmonization of the textbooks and educational materials, followed by the. Design and publication the material. and finally the training of teachers on the new curricula with the help of experts . The educational materials included student books, student activity books and teachers manuals. Optional educational materials such as an assessment manuals, videos, CDs, posters, and educational website were also made available.
  • As a result of these efforts During these past few years, science and mathematics witnessed significant leaps of progress by Saudi students, which drew the attention of those interested, both locally and internationally. This resulted in achieving international recognition and acknowledgement. As in the accomplishment of the Saudi team during their participation in the 2012 International Mathematical Olympiad where the Saudi team received the 29th place out of 100 competing countries .
  • Another achievement was in the 2013 International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow, where our Saudi students won two bronze medals among 73 participating countries.
  • The 2013 International Physics Olympiad that took place in Denmark , two bronze medals and certificates were won by the Saudi Students .
  • During the same year, our students participated in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where 22 students won 8 awards, placing Saudi Arabia in third place behind the US and Canada.
  • Our second Stage : was an (English Language Development Project) For more than forty years the education policy of Saudi Arabia dictated that students are given the opportunity to learn a language other than their native language in order to compete and interact with the international community. This project aims to develop the skills and competency of students’ English language as part of the curriculum in public schools, by providing courses and educational materials geared towards non English speakers and in accordance to international standards.
  • As such, the project aims to meet and achieve the English language requirements of institutions of higher education and the labor market by raising the efficiency and skills of graduates from secondary education. This was achieved through a partnership with a group of international companies which are being tested in different regions of the country as an experiment .
  • The Ministry of Education has also developed a special comprehensive project to develop the general education curriculum for all educational subjects from 1 st grade to 9 th grade classes .
  • There is also a number of projects for the development of curricula still under preparation, such as: • The development of special education curriculum. • The development of the kindergarten curriculum. • The development of the secondary school curriculum. • The development of computer science curriculum .
  • And finally I wish to end with a quote by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz: "It has become imperative for us to face the challenges of the present and future, to establish an educational project based on the concepts of quality and excellence, shared vision and values the spirit of teamwork, and work to strengthen the capacity of teachers and students towards the production of knowledge, rather than just consuming it With those words. King Abdullah described the country’s goal to reach the highest levels of excellence and success through its people
  • In closing, I wish to thank you all for your kind attention.   Thank you.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Performance of Education in Saudi Arabia Towards Achievement and Success Nada Al Ismail, MEdu Education Supervisor Ministry of Education Saudi Arabia
    • 2. Thank you