Education Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdullah announced Wednesday the government’s plan to establish 14 scientific centers in various parts of the Kingdom as part of the King Abdullah Project for the Development of Public Education (Tatwir).
“These 14 centers will be established in the first phase and additional such centers will be established in major cities in the coming years,” Prince Faisal said while presiding over a meeting of the board of directors for scientific centers in Riyadh.
He said the new centers would revolutionize the Kingdom’s educational system. “These centers are a strategic goal for nontraditional education,” he said, adding that a number of advanced and attractive educational institutions would be established under them.
“The scientific centers aims at creating a suitable and inspiring educational environment and teaching science in an effective and engaging manner,” the minister said.
The Riyadh meeting discussed plans, strategic partnerships and working mechanisms for setting up scientific centers as well as models of such centers, their operation system, budget and their modern technological facilities, the SPA said.
Prince Faisal disclosed plans to open a scientific center in Hail. “We’ll lay the foundation stone for the center soon,” he said, adding that the center, covering an area of 40,000 sq. meters, would be of world-class design.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Educational Development Co., King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Abdul Aziz Foundation for the Gifted and a number of businessmen.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced a major project to revamp the Kingdom’s education system about four years ago by pumping SR11.8 billion ($3.1 billion) into a project that aims at overall development of Saudi students.
The Cabinet has allocated SR4.2 billion to improve the educational environment and SR3.58 billion for extra-curricular activities. The training and development of teachers is another thrust of the project and for this purpose SR2.94 billion has been set aside. A curriculum development program received SR980 million.
“The King Abdullah project will help them Kingdom keep pace with scientific and technological development and meet the requirements of the Education Document presented by the king to the GCC summit as well as the 8th Five-Year Development Plan,” a senior official said. Since then a lot of efforts have been made to improve the Kingdom’s educational standard, making use of the successful experiments of countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, China, New Zealand, Finland, France, Ireland, Britain, Canada and the US.
The project also aims at expanding out-of-class activities in order to develop better students by improving their cultural and health standards, creating a spirit of competition in making innovations and encouraging them to participate in various social activities.