1998 News Story

Arab education conference praises Saudi experiment

Director of the Cairo Bureau of the Saudi National Guard Dr. Othman Al-Minaie today addressed the sixth annual scientific conference convening in Cairo at the secretariat-general of the League of Arab States, under the title: "Towards a Distinguished Arab Education to Confront Recurring Challenges".  Dr. Al-Minaie said that the main characteristics of the successful educational experiment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were full supervision of the state over education as well as Islamic and academic goals related to skills, scientific thinking, orientation, interest and values.  He went on to draw attention to the fact that the Kingdom has implemented a plan to eradicate illiteracy with 1,403 schools for men and 1,442 for women.  The Kingdom, whose illiteracy rate for males is 15 percent and for females, 35 percent, is the recipient of the Civilization Award for Literacy from the Arab League Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ALESCO).  Dr. Al-Minaie also drew the attention to the increasing annual allocation for education in the Kingdom's national budget.   He added that one of the most important current challenges facing education in the Arab world was a lack of strict planning and at times a focus on western cultures at the expense of the Arab.