Saudi education ministry plans 3-semester academic year from August

Saudi Minister of Education Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 27 May 2021
Follow

Saudi education ministry plans 3-semester academic year from August

  • Students will be taught new subjects in bid to reach ‘global competitiveness’
  • Resumption of face-to-face classes dependent on progress of COVID-19 vaccination program

JEDDAH: Education-related questions were answered by Saudi authorities on Wednesday ahead of the expected start of the new school year in August.

In a press conference, Minister of Education Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said that students are expected to return to in-person learning, with the academic year divided into three semesters instead of the usual two.

The option of distance learning will also remain available, depending on student capacity in classrooms, he said.

“The next course of action will be revealed in the coming days,” Al-Asheikh said, adding: “Immunizations are the first step, and if we can ensure that, then we can ensure the return of students in the first semester.”

In order for students to receive the proper educational experience, the ministry and partners are looking at incorporating various aspects of the learning process, including in-person, distance and e-learning.

Al-Asheikh said that the academic school semester will span 13 weeks with seven-day breaks. The year will also include 12 holidays, incorporating long weekends and an increased number of school days, to ensure that students “benefit from the learning experience as much as possible.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Students are expected to return to in-person learning, with the academic year divided into three semesters instead of the usual two. The option of distance learning will also remain available, depending on student capacity in classrooms.

Some new subjects have been introduced in elementary levels, such as physical education and self-defense, which will be taught from grade one (for both boys and girls) alongside English.

Fourth graders are expected to start the applied digital skills curriculum, while critical thinking subjects will be taught in grades nine and 10.

Students are expected to return to class on Aug. 30 for the academic year, which will end on July 1 next year.

In the upcoming academic year, the minister said that new curricula will be introduced that will be consistent with the requirements of the development phases and subjects according to the needs of each level and semester.

Some new subjects have been introduced in elementary levels, such as physical education and self-defense, which will be taught from grade one (for both boys and girls) alongside English.

Fourth graders are expected to start the applied digital skills curriculum, while critical thinking subjects will be taught in grades nine and 10.

Subjects in development cover areas including math, science, arts, social studies, Islamic studies and special education.

“This is the first stage in the development process, it’s an important one to achieve the targets and goals of the Kingdom’s sons and daughters, and to reach global competitiveness in various fields and all dimensions,” Al-Asheikh said.

The minister urged education workers to receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose before the Aug. 1 deadline in order to ensure the health and safety of staff and students in the classroom.

Staff who do not receive a vaccine will not be allowed to enter workplaces. Education workers who recovered from an infection less than six months before the deadline must wait until they complete a six-month period following infection before they receive a vaccine and return to work.


Riyadh to host 2024 Saudi Water Forum

Updated 13 sec ago
Follow

Riyadh to host 2024 Saudi Water Forum

  • The forum aims to achieve security and sustainability in the water-scarce Kingdom

RIYADH: Riyadh will host the Saudi Water Forum from April 29 to May 1 under the patronage of the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley.

Water security and sustainability are two of the most important concerns being examined and discussed internationally, and are major challenges facing Saudi Arabia, given the region’s scarcity of water resources and continuous population growth.

Increasing and accelerating demands for water place great strain on Gulf states, driven by economic growth and the improvement of quality of life.

The SWF posted on X: “Sustainability of water resources is among the fundamental issues that concern countries ... How can it be enhanced in Saudi Arabia!!? Join us to explore the proposed solutions and learn about the prominent local and regional experiences contributing to enhancing the sustainability of water resources within the #SaudiWaterForum program from April 29th to May 1st, 2024, at Hilton Riyadh.”

The Ministry Environment Water and Agriculture plans to organize the SWF as one of the most important events at local, regional, and international levels, to create a meeting platform between industry leaders, experts, and key stakeholders.

The forum endeavors to gather developers, investors, scientists, and researchers in the field with the relevant official entities, represented by the MEWA, Saline Water Conversion Corp., National Water Co., Saudi Water Partnership Co., the Saudi Irrigation Organization, Water Transmission and Technologies Co., the Water Regulator, and the National Water Efficiency and Conservation Center to present strategies on achieving solutions to challenges facing the sector.

The SWF will showcase the best practices and successful experiences in developing water projects that align with the needs of the Kingdom and contribute to confronting the challenges.

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s driest countries and the world’s third largest per capita consumer of water after the US and Canada, announced a national program for rationalizing water consumption in the Kingdom at the SWF in 2019, setting ambitious targets that include slashing usage by nearly 24 percent by 2020 and around 43 percent by 2030. 

Speaking at the SWF in 2019, Al-Fadley, officially launched the Qatrah (Arabic for ‘droplet’) program, aimed at reducing water consumption as part of the MEWA’s efforts to attain water sustainability.

Through the program, the MEWA aims to reduce daily per capita consumption from 263 liters to 200 liters by 2020 and to 150 liters by 2030.


Passports chief inspects workflow at Jeddah airport

Updated 11 April 2024
Follow

Passports chief inspects workflow at Jeddah airport

  • Al-Yahya urged the passport officers to perform their assigned tasks with efficiency and to continue in their efforts to serve guests

JEDDAH: Director General of Passports Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya recently inspected the workflow at the passport departments at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and the Umrah halls.

The inspection aimed to assess the work progress, follow up on the performance of the workers, and complete the departure procedures for Umrah pilgrims.

During the inspection, Al-Yahya congratulated and presented gifts to passengers traveling through the airport on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.

He also urged the passport officers to perform their assigned tasks with efficiency and to continue in their efforts to serve guests.

 


Saudi foreign minister discusses Gaza in calls with US, Algeria

Updated 12 April 2024
Follow

Saudi foreign minister discusses Gaza in calls with US, Algeria

  • Parties review regional developments

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday received a phone call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Kingdom’s ministry said.

The parties reviewed regional developments and ways to reduce the escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

They also focused on issues of common interest, most notably Sudan, developments in the Gaza Strip, and the importance of introducing more humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Prince Faisal also made a telephone call to Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Attaf to discuss regional developments and the conflict in Gaza.

Battleground: Jerusalem
The biblical battle for the Holy City
Enter
keywords

Who’s Who: Areej Al-Johani, member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy

Areej Al-Johani
Updated 11 April 2024
Follow

Who’s Who: Areej Al-Johani, member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy

Areej Al-Johani has recently been appointed a member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna until 2030, a term of six years.

Al-Johani is a highly accomplished professional with a distinguished career in the Saudi Arabian government.

She currently serves as the director of policies, awareness and training for the integrity department at the Ministry of Defense.

Al-Johani brings a wealth of experience in leadership, policy development, and program implementation to the role.

Her dedication to public service is evident throughout her career. She previously served as the deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality.

Al-Johani also worked as general supervisor of the Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Office at the Saudi Health Ministry.

She served as director general of the ministry’s workforce planning department from April 2019 to February 2021.

Al-Johani has been a certified internal assessor at the Health Ministry for the King Abdulaziz Quality Award since 2018.

She headed the quality excellence team at the ministry’s deputyship of human resources between 2018 and 2019, and was a coordinator of the leadership renewal program in 2016.

Al-Johani worked for nearly a year in 2009 as supervisor at the learning and resource center of the Jeddah-based Al-Abnaa High School.

Al-Johani has attended various local and international training courses. She is the recipient of several prestigious professional awards and has had research papers published in various journals, and attended conferences both inside and outside the country.

Al-Johani received a bachelor’s degree in education from King Saud University in 2003. After completing a master’s degree at the University of Glamorgan, she obtained a Ph.D. in technology science from the University of South Wales.

 


Saudi novelist Sultan Ayaz’s ‘Crossing Thoughts’ to be adapted into manga

Updated 11 April 2024
Follow

Saudi novelist Sultan Ayaz’s ‘Crossing Thoughts’ to be adapted into manga

  • Ayaz’s novel, written in English, tells the story of humans defending their lands against the oppression of demons
  • In the book, humans fight off demons by using elemental magic and swordplay

RIYADH: A fantasy novel by a Saudi author has been chosen for adaption into a manga, Japan’s famous style of graphic novel.
Sultan Ayaz finished writing the story of “Crossing Thoughts” in 2014, and says the adaptation deal with Manga Arabia is the result of a decade-long dream.
Manga are comics or graphic novels originating from Japan, conforming to a style developed in the late 19th century, though the form has antecedents in earlier Japanese art.
Ayaz’s novel, written in English, tells the story of humans defending their lands against the oppression of demons. It is about the eternal conflict between humans and demons, and a man who stands in between.
In the book, humans fight off demons by using elemental magic and swordplay.
The narrative begins with Drake, a little boy, who, along with his family, lives in tranquility in a tiny town. But the town is destroyed by a demonic attack, which Drake miraculously survives.
Three characters emerge — Aria, Ray and Amber — and study the nature of elements at the Grand College of Elements in the Kingdom of Iora. They learn how to use the elements as weapons against their demonic foes.
“Crossing Thoughts” is full of drama, action and a hint of terror.
Ayaz told Arab News: “I was always into writing in English since high school, and I was influenced by video games and anime, which strongly developed my imagination. Along with daydreaming and creating scenarios in my head, I always wanted to have my own story. So, I started to write short stories from time to time to fulfill this desire.”
The Saudi author said he was “ecstatic” to sign a deal with Manga Arabia and adapt his novel.
“‘Crossing Thoughts’ is the result of hard work and sincere dedication, and I am very proud of it. Since I finished writing the novel back in 2014, I always wanted to have it adapted into a manga or an anime, because I believe it is suitable for such adaptation,” he said.
“When I signed the contract with Manga Arabia, I felt overwhelming happiness, because, for 10 years, this is exactly what I was aiming for. I am very proud of this achievement and honored to be chosen among other talented Saudi authors to be part of this project.”
In 2020, Ayaz became one of the first Saudi novelists to have a fiction work published internationally when a British publishing house, Olympia Publishers, acquired the rights to publish “Crossing Thoughts.” The book was first released locally in 2017 and sold in Virgin Megastores.
“During this journey, I faced many obstacles and hardships that almost forced me to drop my novel and just focus on balancing my life. My father passed away. I had to drop college for a couple of years, and worked in several minimum wage jobs just to contribute to covering the living expenses of my family. But, eventually, I was inspired by my mother’s strength and decided to push myself to the limits and overcome all that, and I succeeded,” Ayaz said.
The writer used two monthly salaries just to cover the printing and publishing expenses of his work.
And though he faced some criticism because the novel was authored in English, “Crossing Thoughts” sold well in Saudi Arabia, attracting the attention of Olympia Publishers.
“I am rather pleased with ‘Crossing Thoughts.’ It is the first English-language fantasy book by a Saudi author to be published, and it helped me overcome my anxiety of failing by landing me live TV appearances and magazine features. It is the sole outcome of real commitment and persistent work,” Ayaz said.
His advice for young writers is to never aim for fame, set your goals straight and persuade audiences with continuous effort. Always remember that “the journey’s experience is priceless,” he said.
Last month, Manga Arabia chose five Saudi authors to have their novels turned into comic stories.
“Drawing Nothingness” by Ashraf Al-Faqih was already featured in the Manga Arabia Youth magazine.
“The Voyagers” by Kendah Jambi, Ayaz’s “Crossing Thoughts,” “The Awsaj” by Al-Jawhara Al-Rimal and Ghada Al-Marzouqi’s “I Live My Memories Upside Down” will also be published in Manga Arabia magazine’s print and digital editions.
The project is part of joint efforts between the Saudi Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission and Manga Arabia to support businesses in the publishing sector.
The manga initiative has been hailed as a “cultural leap” in the presentation of Saudi literature worldwide, and an indicator of progress in the Kingdom’s burgeoning creative industries.