|January 21, 2005|
THE SAUDI DEVELOPMENT PLANS CONFIRM THE NECESSITY TO MODERNIZE HUMAN RESOURCES WHICH ARE THE REAL WEALTH OF THE COUNTRY.
CONSTANT AND CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT IN THE FIELDS OF EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION.
SPECIAL INTEREST TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE AND DECREASE THE COSTS IN THE FIELD OF WATER DESALINATION.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's successive development plans have confirmed the necessity to develop the human resources as the real wealth of the country is its sons and that developing the Saudi human being is the aim and target of development.
The true wealth of any nation is its people, for it is their ability to manage the country's existing resources and to identify and develop new ones, which determines the prosperity of the economy and the health of society for present and future generations.
Mindful of the need to ensure that the Kingdom's population should be equal to the challenges of the developmental process, the government has devoted vast resources to a program covering primary, secondary and higher levels of education.
All the Kingdom's Development Plans have taken into account the educational aspirations of the Saudi people, providing free education to all. The educational system has been continuously and systematically expanded to accommodate the ever-growing demand for educational services.
Through this investment, the Kingdom has been able to guarantee equality of opportunity for all and to ensure that the Kingdom's need for an educated and trained national workforce to carry forward the Kingdom's future development can be fulfilled.
Saudi officials have been keen on developing the Kingdom's human resources because they believe that human resources constitute the real wealth of the country.
In the development process the care for the Saudi citizen, realizing the ambitions and welfare are at the core of all the efforts exerted to achieve development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The spread and promotion of education has been an important cornerstone of the Kingdom's policy to accomplish overall progress in line with the latest advances in science and technology.
The high education sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made great progress. The Kingdom now has eleven universities in all parts of the country. Each university is academically and administratively independent and has modern dormitories. The government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques provides all the financial support needed by the universities.
These eleven universities have 317 colleges, covering 400 specialized fields. These colleges have 23590 staff and 525,000 students. The Kingdom also has 120 faculties with an estimated 211,000 students and 11627 staff.
The Ministry of Education has 24 technical faculties, which have an estimated 34,000 students. There are also 7400 students at 39 health faculties and institutes.
In a display of the historical stages of establishing the universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Um Al Qura University came the first as it was established in 1369 H, as the Faculty of Sharea in Makkah was the first high education institute in its modern concept.
The University of Um Al Qura includes 13 faculties covering more than fifty specialities in various scientific fields. There are 29000 male and female students in the fields of Sharea, engineering, science, education and medicine.
The Islamic University in Madinah was also established in 1381 H. as an expression of the pioneering role the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is playing in the service of Islam and Muslims as the University has allocated 85 percent of its seats to the non-Saudi students baring more than 105 nationalities from Islamic countries and Islamic minorities all over the world.
The Islamic University includes six faculties that cover 16 specialities in the field of Dawa with about 5500 students.
The Islamic University of Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud has started its mission by rehabilitating the specialists in the fields of Sharea and Arabic language, when the Faculty of Sharea was opened in 1373 H. and the Faculty of Arabic Language was opened in 1374 H..
These two faculties have formed the upsurge of the University, after which the opening of new faculties has continued until the number of its faculties reached now fifteen faculties at which around 38000 male and female students are learning.
Meanwhile, the University sends a number of its Saudi teachers to teach in the institutions affiliated to it in The United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Indonesia, Japan, Djibouti and the United States of America.
King Saud University, which started with a faculty of arts in 1377/1378 H. is classified as the greatest university in the whole world in terms of the variety of its speciality fields and the number of its students. It covers the needs of the Kingdom in the fields of medicine, pharmacology, engineering, agriculture, education, administrative sciences, computers, arts and humanities.
The number of male and female students in all fields is more than 54000 male and female students attending 20 faculties.
One of the famous universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is King Abdul Aziz university in Jeddah which has started in 1384 H. as a public university and in 1391 H., the Council of Ministers has decided to attach the University to state and it became now one of the largest universities in the Kingdom.
It includes around 50000 male and female students attending eleven universities which cover 87 speciality fields in addition to an university hospital.
King Fahd University for Oil and Menirals has started with a faculty of oil and minerals in 1383 and was transferred to be a university in 1395 H.
The University includes ten scientific faculties cover 25 fields studied by more than 10000 students.
On the other hand the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has realized, for many years, the importance of preparing qualified Saudis in order to build the nation.
It believes that the cultural and scientific progress of any nation is closely dependent on qualified citizens who can take on the task of building the nation.
This trend has been reflected in the successive development plans, which have emphasized the need to develop human resources (the nation's real wealth).
When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, the opportunities for education were not widely available, being limited in the main to religious and basic literacy teaching in mosques.
In the 1930s, King Abdul Aziz initiated a program of formal primary education in the Kingdom. This program was given added impetus in 1949-1950 (1369-1370 AH) with the personal support of the then Prince Faisal and the encouragement of Prince Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz - who later became Minister of Education and President of the Saudi Higher Council of Education, the highest educational authority in the Kingdom, and is now the King.
The Ministry of Education, with the then Prince Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz at its head, was founded in 1954.
In the Kingdom, there are four levels of education below higher education. First, there is the pre-school level, which is a small sector of educational activity, currently confined mainly to cities and towns. Secondly, there is the elementary level, which caters for the educational needs of children from the age of 6 to 12. Thirdly, there is the intermediate level, which caters for children from 12 to 15. and, fourthly, there is the secondary level, which caters for children from 15 to 18 and prepares those who are to take their education further for higher education.
Primary and secondary education is largely the responsibility of the Ministry of Education which caters for male pupils and the General Presidency for Girls' Education. (Although there is a private educational sector, the vast majority of children are educated through the state system.)
At every level of education, the numbers of pupils has increased year by year. It is also worth emphasizing the number of girls who are now given the benefits of education at both primary and secondary level, an essential component of the Kingdom's policy of ensuring that the entire population is literate and numerate.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz was the pioneer of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He laid the foundations for the Kingdom's educational system and since then has been following the progress of education with great interest.
As a result of this official interest from the Saudi Government, the Kingdom has witnessed great advances in education.
The statistics showed that there were 2.539.188 students studying in more than 112.527 classes in 14600 schools with more than 196000 teachers.
The number of primary schools reached 6,550 primary schools, with more than 1.242.959 students and 100960 teachers. There were 3,730 intermediate schools, with 614,211 students and 49,805 teachers.
The number of secondary schools reached 2000 with 453,830 students and 32,570 teachers.
Also according to statistics published in 1424/1423 AH, there were more 2.311.000 female students and 219,470 female teachers and administrators at more than 15,800 educational institutions.
According to the statistics, the number of colleges for Girls' Education amounted to 87 with 228,439 students and 6,204 teachers.
Meanwhile, the number of secondary teacher training institutes reached 75 with 3,650 students. With regard to the Holy Quran Memorization Schools, their number reached 628 with 68,638 students and 6321 teachers.
The number of students in elementary, intermediate and secondary levels, increased sharply, while, because of the success of the adult education programs, the number of adult students was reduced from 35,168 students in the year 1419/1420AH to 28,000 students in the year 1424/1425AH.
The Ministry of Education has established thousands of schools and other supporting buildings.
In 1424/1425 AH, the number of schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Education reached 6,570 elementary schools with a total of 1,176,690 students and 107,889 teachers.
In the same period, the number of intermediate schools was increased to 3,127 schools with 548,483 students and 50,013 teachers, while there were 1,719 secondary schools, with a total of 389,860 students and 24,761 teachers.
The Ministry of Education is keen to develop services for students and establish a special sector for student's affairs.
The Ministry of Education also encourages sports, scouting activities and other types of art and scientific activities. In this context, it has established playgrounds, in-door halls and swimming pools. It has also established 150 health care units to provide health services to students.
The Ministry also gives great attention to adult education and the elimination of illiteracy and has opened a number of special schools and centres for this purpose all over the Kingdom. In 1424/1425 AH, the number of schools to combat illiteracy and promote adult education totalled 1,110 with 1900 classrooms and 28000 students.
There are also 494 special schools offering education to disabled boys and girls.
Realizing the importance of water in agricultural development, the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz has been giving great attention to the development of sources of ground water through the setting up of dams in the valleys.
According to the reports of the Ministry of Water and Electricity, by 1444 AH, the power generating capacity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will reach about 67,000 megawatt,
The total cost for meeting the requirements of the electricity sector in the next 25 years will amount to 340 billion.
About 29,482 persons work in the electricity sector. 78 percent of the total number are Saudis. By the end of the first quarter of 1423 AH, the electricity services were available in more than 9,249 cities, governorates and centres.
The Ministry of Water and Electricity has set up a number of training centres for training young Saudis and developing their skills.
The reports pointed out that the generating capacity of the electricity companies in the Kingdom increased 18 times compared to the situation in 1395.
In the first quarter of 1423 AH, the power generating capacity amounted to 23,730 megawatts. Meanwhile, the number of subscribers to electricity services has jumped to more than 7.3 million.
In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity services, steam stations have been set up. The first steam station in the Kingdom was set up in the Eastern Region in 1400 AH. The station includes four units, and the capacity of each unit is 400 megawatts.
The steam station of Rabigh, which was set up in 1406 AH, includes four units, and the generating capacity of each unit is 260 megawatts.
There are already 187 dams of various sizes with storage capacity of 777 million cubic meters and at a total cost of about SR three billion. Thirteen dams are currently under implementation, and arrangements are underway to build another 12 dams.
The Saline Water Conversion Corporation has announced that, in 1423/1424 AH, there were 30 desalination stations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, producing 1063 million cubic meters of desalinated water, providing more that 70 per cent of the required drinking water.
Meanwhile, the electricity generation capacity of the desalination stations reached 22.3 million megawatts during the same period, which is approximately equivalent to 21 per cent of all electricity generated in the Kingdom.
The report traced the beginning of the desalination process in the Kingdom to 1348AH, during the era of the late King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman Al Saud.
A Royal Decree in 1394AH established the Corporation, which has continued to its development. During the last two decades, production of desalinated water has increased more than one hundred times, while electricity production has increased more than eight times.
The desalination stations include: the station at Al Jubail, considered the largest desalination station in the world, Jeddah's station complex, and stations in Makkah, Taif, Madinah, Yanbu, Shaqeeq and Al Khobar.
The Corporation has set up a pipeline network, with a total length of more 2000 kilometres, for transportation of desalinated water to various regions and has set up 108 reservoirs, with a capacity of more than 6 million cubic meters.
On the other hand according to reports published recently, the real electricity generating capability is expected to reach 70,000 megawatts by the year 1440 AH.
The reports estimated the total cost of covering electricity needs for the next 25 years at SR438 billion. The reports pointed out that power generation in the Kingdom has increased 18 times since 1395 AH, with average annual growth of 13.7 percent.
The total power output in 1424 AH reached more than 25000 megawatts, out of which water desalination power generation stations in the Kingdom contributed 2,271 megawatts.
The Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz has given great attention to electric power and is determined to extend it to the whole country as soon as possible.
Electricity was supplied to more than 7357 cities and provinces by the end of 1420AH, the report said. The number of subscribers increased by an annual average of 10.6 percent, to reach more than 3,518 million by the end of 1420AH.
About 105 million megawatts per hour was sold in 1420AH, with an increase of 8.8 percent on the previous year, the report added.
Gazlan, Saudi Arabia's first steam station, has been in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1400 AH, with 400 megawatts, while Gazlan II has been finish with 600 megawatt.
Work was underway, and finish by 1422AH, the ninth 1200-megawatt-power generation station in Riyadh, the report concluded.