A celebration was held yesterday at the Palace of Culture in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh to mark the Kingdom’s winning of the Prize for Combating Illiteracy from the Arab League’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO). In his address upon receiving the award, Minister of Education Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed stated that Saudi Arabia stands first among sisterly Arab countries in the field of combating illiteracy and pointed to the great efforts exerted in this respect by the Ministry of Education, the National Guard, the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, and the General Presidency for Girls’ Education. He hoped the Kingdom would soon celebrate the total eradication of illiteracy, and referred to the fact that already Saudi Arabia is tackling “technological illiteracy” by establishing scientific clubs and introducing computers in schools both as a subject and as a teaching aid. He said the Kingdom spends hundreds of millions of dollars on education every year, indicating that this is not strange for a country whose monarch was the nation’s first education minister.
The day before, Dr. Al-Rasheed had issued a statement that the ALESCO award reflects Saudi Arabia’s success in the field of science as well as that of education, with all due thanks to the blessings of Almighty God, and with all the support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz who established the main pillars for the growth of learning, from the fight against illiteracy to progress in higher education, in every area of medical science, engineering, technology, computers, space, and data collection. “Our real wealth is human resources” said Dr. Al-Rasheed. “They remain the ideal channel for future investment.”