Author: Mohammed Al-KinaniID: 1546638760459842700Sat, 2019-01-05 00:51
Critical thinking and philosophy are to be taught at Saudi schools from this year, following a decision by the Education Ministry to revamp the curriculum for the 21st century.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Issa, former education minister, recently inaugurated a program that aims to improve independent thinking by encouraging questions and creating an environment conducive to respecting different viewpoints. The program also aims to boost student confidence.
Al-Issa said the course would be part of the “Life Skills” curriculum currently being taught until it became an independent course.
It had taken time and effort to introduce the new subjects and an international team had been brought in to work alongside local specialists, he added.
The next steps would be introducing school subjects on the law and financial literacy, he said.
A spokesman for the Education Ministry, Mubarak Al-Osaimi, said the subjects were in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan.
Critical thinking and problem solving were important skills and it was important for young people to master them to help with personal development, he added.
Information on the course would be available to students, their families, teachers and trainees in the form of textbooks and handbooks used in more than 60 countries worldwide, he told Arab News.
Al-Osaimi also said the ministry had provided every kind of support to scholarship students for university admissions and improving scholarship procedures.
The Vision 2030 reform plan says education should be developed to focus on pupils not teachers, inculcate skills, improve confidence and promote a spirit of creativeness.
Saudi Arabia has pledged to raise its literacy rate from 94.4 percent to 100 percent in the near future. The Kingdom leads many Arab and Asian countries in achieving literacy targets.
Last month, Sabya Directorate of Education in Jazan inaugurated the first virtual school for students with special needs.
The assistant director of education in Sabya governorate, Hanan bint Ali Al-Hazimi, inaugurated the school.
Al-Hazimi said the virtual school was important due to the hardships faced by students with special needs.
She said the virtual school aims to provide an opportunity to all those students who are otherwise unable to continue their studies.