By Andy Sambidge
Royal decree will bring investment in education sector, big boost for teachers.
Saudi's King Abdullah has approved plans to create more than 200,000 new jobs in the education sector, it has been announced.
A total of 204,056 new jobs would be created, minister of civil service affairs Mohammed bin Ali al-Fayez said.
“The royal approval came after the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs presented a proposal to the king to improve the situation of teachers holding lower job levels in comparison to their qualifications,” he said in comments published by Arab News on Sunday.
He added: “We hope the royal gesture would encourage the teachers to do their jobs efficiently.”
In setting its budget for 2009 last month, Saudi officials prioritised the education sector, earmarking $32.6 billion - a quarter of the entire budget.
A particular focus will be on primary and secondary schooling with approximately 1,500 new primary and secondary schools being constructed, in addition to the 3,240 currently under development and another 2,000 under renovation.
Education Minister Abdullah al-Obaid said the decree would "improve the condition of several teachers” while Khaled al-Joaid, head of the media committee for teachers in the kingdom, added that it would "boost the morale of teachers".
“The royal gesture opens a new era in the Kingdom’s education sector,” he added.
This is a big step in the right direction and needs several full strides to reach to the goal post. MOE should look for newer teaching resources and in-service training for the current teachers. Teaching is not listed as a dream job in any country. It is not one of those kool jobs. One must look at workloads and stresses of dealing with teenagers, in particular. Class size is another issue and overcrowding school population also needs to be addressed. Small schools bring more placid learning environment. Perhaps MOE should look at designing small schools with teacher/ student ratio at 1: 25 and also creating a room for teacher aids, or learning support staff.