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   Education is at the forefront of the Saudi Government's priorities. As the bedrock for the progress of nations, the education sector has witnessed important developments since the founding of the first Ministry of Education in 1953. Thousands of elementary, intermediate and secondary schools have been established, i n addition to colleges, higher institutes and seven universities.

Education Statistics
The number of students at all levels of education rose from 600,000 in 1969 - 1970 (1389 - 1390 H) to some 4 million in 1996. The average annual increase during this period was 7.1% for male students and 13% for female students. The number of schools and colleges run by the Ministry of Education (responsible for boys education) and the General Presidency for Girls' Education increased from 3,283 in 1969 - 1970 (1389 - 1390 H) to 22,000 in 1994 - 1995 (1414 - 1415 H). Schools for boys rose from 2,654 in 1969 - 1970 (1389- 1390 H) to 10,419 in 1992 - 1993 (1412 - 1413 H), an annual increase of 6%. Schools for girls grew from 453 in 1969 - 1970 (1389 - 1390 H) to 10,558 in 1994 - 1995 (1414 -
1415 H), an annual increase of 13.8%. he number of graduates of higher education, male and female, increased from 808 in 1969 - 1970 (1389 - 1390 H) to 5,124 in 1979 - 1980 (1399 - 1400 H) and to 12,812 in 1984 - 1985 (1404 - 1405 H) . In 1994 - 1995 (1414 - 1415 H) the number of male and female university graduates reached 23,074.

 

EDUCATION
* Source Ministry of Planning, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The government's awareness of the key role of quality manpower in the social and economic development of the Kingdom has prompted it to give bountiful support to the education sector. The Saudi government provides general education for both boys and girls, through the Ministry of Education, the General Presidency of Girls Education and other specialized agencies. General education in the Kingdom consists of six years of primary school and three years each of intermediate and high school. The government provides free general and higher education (post secondary), and financial help for male and female students in some areas of general education. University students receive financial help and free housing. In addition, meals, books, and transportation are provided at subsidized prices. Female students are provided with free transportation.

To meet the manpower needs of the Kingdom in the long term and the increasing demand for higher education, sixteen universities and colleges have been established, offering subjects from engineering, medicine, and geology to social and Islamic studies. During the period 1989-1993 the number of elementary schools increased from 8,370 to more than 10,000; the number of intermediate schools from 2,884 to more than 4000; the number of secondary schools from 1,103 to more than 1,700, and the number of teacher training colleges from 40 to 43. However, the sixth development plan targets for female and male graduates in general education and graduates at bachelor degree level by university are presented in tables 6 and 7 respectively.

 

Sixth Plan Targets for Male and Female Graduates in General Education
(Thousand)

Male Graduates
Stage 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 PlanTotal
Elementary 141 144 148 150 153 157 752
Intermediate 89 92 95 97 101 104 489
Secondary 40 43 47 51 56 61 258
Teacher College** 4 5 5 6 6 6 28
Female Graduates
Elementary 135 143 152 163 171 181 810
Intermediate 79 89 95 105 113 125 527
Secondary 51 55 59 64 70 77 325
Teacher College** 6 7 8 10 11 12 48

** Four academic years after secondary stage; graduates are granted bachelor degrees.
*** Two academic years after secondary stage; graduates are granted diplomas.


Sixth Plan Targets: Higher Education New Entrants and Graduates at Bachelor Level by University
(1995-1999)

 

New Entrants

Graduates

University

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

King Saudi University 26,000 14,595 40,595 21,880 9,730 31,610
King Abdul Aziz University 27,176 17,936 45,112 15,002 12,970 27,972
King Fahd University 6,833 4,538 11,371 3,418 3,129 6,547
King Fahd U. of Ptro.&Minrls. 6,000 ------ 6,000 3,322 ------ 3,322
Islamic University 5,990 -------- 6,000 3,322 ------ 4,300
Imam University 33,280 7,285 40,565 24,515 4,085 28,600
Umm AL- Qura University 10,825 9,195 20,020 6,945 6,340 13,285
Girls Colleges ------ 75,396 75,396 ------- 50,885 50,885
Total 116,104 128,945 245,049 79,382 87,139 166,521

 


Substantial progress has also been made in the field of technical education and vocational training through the establishment of well-equipped and properly-staffed training institutes. The formation of s skilled Saudi labor force raises productivity levels and thereby makes important contribution to economic development. The Saudi government has exerted tremendous efforts to expand the Kingdom’s vocational training system, both quantitatively and qualitatively, to meet the challenges of economic development and technological change. Table (8) shows the sixth development plan targets for graduates of technical education during the plan period 1994-1999.

 

Sixth Plan Growth Targets for Graduates of Technical Education

Field of Study 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Total
Technical Colleg 1,945 2,147 2,362 2,653 2,985 3,362 13,509
Industrial Secondary Schools 2,100 2,740 2,952 3,189 3,457 3,758 16,096
Commercial Secondary Schools 2,250 2,927 3,220 3,610 4,150 4,943 18,850
Agricultural Secondary Schools 226 303 373 446 521 598 2,241
Technical Supervisors Institute 476 506 576 682 843 1,101 3,708
Electronics Institute ---- ----- 180 200 230 260 870
Total 6,997 8,623 9,663 10,780 12,186 14,022 55,274

 

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