The Saudi educational system aims to ensure that students are prepared for life and work in the modern world, while meeting the country’s religious, social and economic needs.
Eliminating adult illiteracy is another major goal.
General education in the Kingdom consists of kindergarten, six years of primary school and three years each of intermediate and high school.
After elementary and intermediate school, students can choose whether to attend a high school with programs in commerce, the arts and sciences, or a vocational school. In high school, students take comprehensive exams twice a year under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
The educational curriculums at Saudi schools are diverse. They include a variety of subjects such as math, science, literature, history, Arabic and Islam. The Ministry of Education sets overall standards and oversees special education for the handicapped.
The government continues to improve educational standards by offering quality training programs for teachers, improving standards for student evaluation, and increasing the use of educational technology.
For example, in 2000 computer science was introduced at the secondary level. The administration of the educational system has also been improved by giving provincial school boards greater decision-making authority.
These efforts are paying off. Not only has the number of Saudi schools increased dramatically, but so has the quality of education. The Kingdom’s student-to-teacher ratio of 12.5 to 1 is one of the lowest in the world.