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Saudi Arabia

Preprimary & Primary Education

Kindergarten is available but not compulsory. It provides a constructive educational environment emphasizing social behavior, hygiene, and play activities. Kindergartens are usually co-educational and under the supervision of the General Presidency of Girls' Education. Kindergarten is divided into the following age groups: fewer than four years, four to five years, and five to six years old. Only elementary education is compulsory in Saudi Arabia. It is the foundation for the development of further education. Elementary education covers grades one to six. The curricula emphasis is Arabic language, Islamic religion, history, geography, mathematics, and sometimes English. Students are promoted by examination prepared by the individual schools. Private elementary schools comprise four percent of the schools at this level, but they must use the same government developed curricula and examination system used in public schools. The headmaster of each private school is a government employee appointed by the Ministry of Education. Elementary school teachers must have a bachelor's degree. An increase in teacher training programs is reducing the teacher shortage among males and native Saudi teachers.

In the 1994-1995 academic years in Saudi Arabia there was one kindergarten school under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education enrolling 472 students with a staff of 52 teachers. For the same year there were 205 kindergartens exclusively for girls enrolling 16,929 female students with a female teaching staff of 1,795 teachers. For male students there were 199 kindergartens enrolling 24,201 students with a male staff of 1,344 teachers. Private agencies accounted for 343 kindergartens enrolling 43,765 students with a teaching staff of 2,735.

At the elementary level of education the Ministry of Education sponsored 5,417 schools exclusively for males enrolling 1,015,401 boys with a male teaching staff of 68,200 for the academic years of 1994-1995. Saudi Arabia enrolled 909,024 female students at 4,528 schools exclusively for girls with a female teaching staff of 61,202 faculty members. Other government agencies in Saudi Arabia sponsored 433 schools enrolling 110,381 students and employing 7,934 teachers. There were 140 private schools in Saudi Arabia in 1994-1995 enrolling 114,912 students taught by 10,746 teachers.

Intermediate Level: The intermediate level is for students aged 12 to 15, lasts for three years, and furthers students' general education and the study of Islam. The objectives of intermediate education are to: (1) provide a comprehensive Islamic education, (2) teach students skills and knowledge to suit their age and level of development, (3) stimulate students to seek knowledge through meditation and scientific reasoning, (4) develop and refine intellectual skills, (5) instill respect for the social life of Islam, (6) train students to be loyal to their community, country, and the monarchy, (7) stimulate interest in Islam's past, (8) train students to use their time wisely with constructive activities, (9) enable students to confront misleading information about Islam, and (10) prepare students for the next stage of life. English becomes a required subject and is compulsory for all three years of secondary education. After completion of the intermediate level, students select from a regular secondary education program leading to a university degree or vocational and/or technical education programs of study.

For the academic years 1994-1995 the Ministry of Education funded 2,349 schools for boys enrolling 336,162 male students with a male teaching staff of 28,401 faculty. For girls there were 1,680 schools at the intermediate level in Saudi Arabia enrolling 321,137 female students taught by 24,121 female students. Other government agencies in Saudi Arabia funded 228 intermediate schools enrolling 39,861 students taught by 3,066 teachers. Saudi Arabia had 236 private schools at the intermediate level enrolling 20,373 students taught by 2,361 faculty.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceSaudi Arabia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education