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Saudi Arabia

Secondary Education

The objectives of Regular Secondary Education are religious orientation, development of a scientific attitude and academic practices, preparation for higher education, and the preparation of non-college bound students. A regular secondary education is three years, for students' ages 15 to 19 years old. A general curriculum is studied the first year. Students select from either a liberal arts or science curriculum for the two remaining years. Courses are offered in Islamic Studies, Arabic Studies, Social Studies, the Sciences, Mathematics, English, Physical Education (boys only), and Home Economics (girls only).

For a brief period ending in 1993, a Modern Secondary program provided an alternative to the Regular Secondary curriculum. Modern Secondary permitted students to develop their own programs of study. Students were free to select from a science or literary curriculum. Students were able to change divisions and transfer all credit courses. Discontinuation of this program eliminated the use of credit hours. Secondary religious institutes at Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University and the Islamic University offer male students a program of study in Islamic and Arabic studies, where science is replaced in the curriculum with religious subjects.

At the secondary level in Saudi Arabia for the 1994-1995 academic years the Ministry of Education had 849 schools for men enrolling 175,147 students taught by a male teaching staff of 11,400. For the education of women there were 797 schools enrolling 165,329 female students with a teaching staff of 13,578 female faculty members. Other government agencies in Saudi Arabia sponsored 177 secondary schools enrolling 20,530 students with a teaching staff of 970 faculty members. Private schools in Saudi Arabia numbered 137 schools enrolling 17,435 students with a teaching staff of 1,412.

Technical & Vocational Education: Technical and vocational education is a vital and extremely important part of the Saudi educational system. Upgrading technical and vocational education improves workplace skills, increases productivity, and enables the nation to keep pace with changing technological developments. The benefits protect and maintain an Islamic values system, maintain higher standards of living, and promote economic and social stability. In 1980, GOTEVT was formed to organize, consolidate, and centralize the administration of training programs within the government bureaucracy.

GOTEVT's goals are to (1) prepare individuals to work in industrial, commercial, and agricultural fields, (2) maintain the economy by providing competent technical work forces for either public or private sectors, (3) provide individuals with an Islamic foundation for high moral standards, (4) offer a broad scientific base for technical manpower to optimize worker response to rapid technological change, (5) allow individuals the opportunity to learn a trade and continue their training to the highest level, (6) develop technicians' skills and continuously upgrade vocational knowledge, (7) emphasize the dignity of manual and vocational work and the important role they contribute to national development, and (8) discourage internal migrations to big cities by building vocational training centers throughout Saudi Arabia.

There are three types of vocational and technical education in Saudi Arabia: secondary, junior college (intermediate technical colleges), and college (higher technical institutes) levels. Courses are offered during the day and at night. The government provides benefits for students enrolled in these programs. Secondary institute graduates are eligible to apply for government loans in order to start a business. The best qualified may go on to college. Graduates who work as teachers are given a teaching allowance, which is called a stipend. Requirements for admission to a secondary technical program are a good behavior certificate from the last school attended, passing a medical examination, Saudi citizenship, and an Intermediate School Certificate. Technical Industrial education offers programs in the mechanical department in general mechanics, metal work, and agricultural machinery. The electricity department centers on electrical installation and electro-mechanics. Auto mechanics, auto electrical, and diesel mechanics comprise the auto mechanics section. Curricula programs in electronics are mechanical, electrical, electronic, oil and minerals, and auto/engine technology. The Junior College of Technology in Riyadh (1989) offers a four-year program of study leading to a bachelor of science degree in Technology Engineering. The Colleges of Technology at Jeddah, Dammam, and Buraidah permit students to study mechanical, electrical, electronic, or auto/engine technology.

Two new junior colleges at Abha and Al-Ahsa offer programs in electronic, construction, commerce and management, and mechanical and auto/engine technology. Admission to junior colleges requires Saudi citizenship although non-Saudis may be given permission under special circumstances to enroll, and either a GOTEVT Secondary Institute, Secondary School Scientific Section, or Secondary School Liberal Arts Certificate. Previous grades must be at least a "good." Applicants must pass a medical exam and a personal interview, have a good behavior certificate from the last school attended, and enroll as full-time students. If three or more years have gone by since a secondary certificate was issued, trainees must pass a written examination given by the college committee. The Higher Technical Institute in Riyadh offers two- and three-year training programs for instructors needed to staff secondary industrial institutes and vocational training centers. A one-year program for College of Technology graduates qualifies them to teach at secondary industrial institutes, vocational centers, or colleges of technology. Graduates are given civil service appointments at grade six and can go as high as grade seven, along with stipends to teach and cover the cost of equipment and materials.

Technical Commercial Education programs train students for careers in the office and include accounting, bookkeeping, secretarial skills, commercial correspondence, typing, computers, and administration. All the commercial institutes are in urban areas and offer three-year programs of study. Graduates are appointed to the Civil Service, grade five and are eligible to continue their education. Admission requirements include an Intermediate School Certificate, passing a personal interview, and good manual dexterity and eyesight. Graduates of the Higher Institute for Financial and Commercial Studies are eligible for government hire. Two years of service go on their record earning promotions and the right to study abroad. Admission to Higher Institutes requires a Secondary Commercial School Certificate, the ability to fulfill specific subject prerequisites established by GOTEVT, and a successful interview.

The Technical Agricultural Education program and the Secondary Technical Assistants' Institute are two additional technical programs of study. The former offers special programs in Agricultural and Animal Production at the Model Agricultural Institute in Buraidah (1977). The Secondary Technical Assistants' Institutes offer three-year programs of study in surveying, sanitation and public health inspection, construction, water supply, architectural drawing, hydrology, and road construction. Admission requirements are the same as for the other institutes. Graduates are eligible for a Civil Service appointment at grade five and stipends.

For the academic years 1994-1995, Saudi Arabia enrolled 6,648 students at six Intermediate Colleges of Technology with a teaching staff of 913 faculty members. For the same academic years there were 8 Secondary Industrial Institutes enrolling 8,672 students taught by 1,126 teachers, 15 Secondary Commercial Institutes with a staff of 660 teaching 10,335 students, 3 Secondary Agricultural Institutes enrolling 774 students with a teaching staff of 94, and 5 Secondary Technical Assistants Institutes with a teaching staff of 240 enrolling 1,610 students.

Vocational and prevocational training centers train workers to (1) meet industrial requirements, (2) upgrade unskilled workers into a technical proficiency, (3) provide work opportunities for individuals with limited education, (4) provide opportunities for workers to study a vocational training center, (5) foster moral and religious values in trainees and develop respect for manual and vocational work, and (6) qualify the workforce to meet the nation's technical requirements in industry. The trades studied include auto mechanics, refrigeration and air conditioning, general mechanics, painting and auto body repair, general electricity, radio and television repair, sheet metal, office machine repair, carpentry, plumbing, printing, welding, aluminum construction and repair, commercial and office work, and diesel mechanics.

Prevocational study is for 14 to 17 year olds who have completed at least the fourth grade level of elementary school. Trainees receive a stipend and a monetary award upon graduation. An instructor training institute offers a ten-month program to train teachers to teach vocational education.

An on-the-job training program was started in 1974, by GOTEVT to upgrade work skills in the private sector. Private companies may receive subsidies from the government for training purposes. The primary objectives for this work program are to establish local or international standards in different trades and to provide the private sector with model training programs designed to ensure and upgrade workers' skills. Applicants must be under 45 years of age, a Saudi citizen, and able to read and write. New programs in this field include industrial relations, gas and electric utilities, fisheries, cable manufacturing, pneumatics, and steel manufacturing.

Cooperative Education is developed between private industry and GOTEVT to encourage workers to improve skills by studying at government institutes. There is a one-year program in technical education for mechanics and electricity and a three-year program for technical education. Training is offered for administration and commercial education in typing, secretarial skills, accounting, administration and supervision, marketing, shorthand, telex, and computers. Other fields include industrial safety and security, electronics, machine operation and maintenance, interior decoration, radio and television repair, surveying and architectural drawing, aviation services and tourism, printing, air conditioning repair, production engineering and mechanics. Cooperatives with other countries allow students to study industrial education in France, engineering and instructor training in industrial and agricultural equipment in Germany, vocational training in the United States, and industrial electronics, telecommunications, audio-visual electronics, and computer technology in Japan.

In 1994-1995, Saudi Arabia had 54 vocational training centers enrolling 9,512 students with a total staff of 1,418 faculty members. There were 3 on-the-job training programs with 466 students with a teaching staff of 96. For the same years of 1994-1995, Saudi Arabia had 42 Health Institutes enrolling 5,110 students with a staff of 735, 25 sewing centers with 1,726 students and a staff of 268, 10 postal and telecommunications institutes enrolling 937 students with a staff of 262 faculty, and 1 veterinary and animal husbandry institute enrolling 93 students with a staff of 11. There were 149 vocational sites offered by the private sector in Saudi Arabia enrolling 17,508 students and 41 other vocational sites with 386 students with a staff of 23 for the academic years of 1994-1995.

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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