The Ministry of Education was handed 900 completed school building projects during 2011.The SR6 billion worth new buildings are part of “the ministry’s effort to have attractive school buildings
that will cater to the present and future educational needs in the Kingdom,” Minister of Education Prince Faisal bin Abdullah said in a statement yesterday.
A subsidiary of the state-owned Tatweer Holding Co. specialized in developing modern school buildings is responsible for the constructions of the projects.
“The company undertakes strategic roles to develop school buildings with added value as envisaged by the ministry in collaboration with the King Abdullah Project for General Education Development,” the prince said in his statement.
“The buildings received by the ministry are in different parts of the Kingdom and suit to fulfill the ministry’s vision to achieve a congenial environment for education and also get rid of rented buildings,” the prince said. The prince added that 164 of the completed building projects are in Riyadh province, 154 in the Makkah province, 43 in Madinah, 72 in Qassim, 95 in the Eastern Province, 137 in Asir, 45 in Hail, 30 each in Tabuk and Baha, 13 in the Northern Border, 47 in Al-Jouf, 51 in Jazan and 19 in Najran.
The minister said 985 schools have been shifted to new buildings in the current year. He said 66 school buildings were abandoned because they were not fit for use and 393 new buildings are attached to the existing school buildings.
The facilities in the new buildings include lounges for indoor sports and games in addition to grass-laid stadiums.
He said the ministry received 747 multipurpose lounges and indoor stadiums in addition to 757 grass-laid stadiums in different parts of the country.
The prince thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, for their strong support and encouragement to the education sector and hoped that the new school environment would improve the country’s level of education.
In another development, the prince will sign an agreement today with the Al-Zamil Group Holding to construct a science center project in the Qassim province carrying the name “Abdullah Al-Zamil Oasis for Science.”
The Oasis project will be linked to the King Abdullah Project for General Education Development and will work in collaboration with the ministry and the Tatweer Holding, spokesman of the ministry, Muhammad Al-Dokhaini, said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.
The minister’s signing of the agreement with the Oasis shows the need for close collaboration between government and private sectors to develop education in the country.
According to the agreement the ministry will finance the operation and maintenance of the Oasis after its construction and equipping by the group.
The Oasis will produce interactive science programs adhering to ministry’s specifications on such matters.
Deputy Minister of Education for Girls Affairs Norah Al-Faiz, who is also chairperson of the executive committee for science centers, said the aims of the Oasis agree with the vision of the ministry’s science centers for interactive halls. She added that the ministry was striving to construct interactive centers in all provinces so that teachers and students are able to enter a virtual surrounding simulating scientific activity.