The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a young state, until 1950 this community had fewer resources with its people staying in mud houses without any technology innovations. However, with the discovery of oil, life changed in a few years with improvements in social, health, education and transportation. Education, the pillar of future sustainable economy, is a result of progressive private and public support in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as early as 1930, (Ridge, 2014).
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The region is a lucrative area of education service that represents the biggest percentage of the service in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. It constitutes up to 75 percent of the sum of students in the GCC general education (K-12) system. The development of the education sector has been attributed to the government support through a strong budgetary allocation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has been due to the government’s perception that puts the service at the center of sustainable community development due to its role in improving human capital and knowledge.
Statement of the Problem
Education responds to the civilization demand that works to meet the increasing development of the education system and guidelines to respond to rapid development of human activity. It is, therefore, important to review and rewrite its role and development in the sustainable development of a community.
Purpose of the Study
The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the various procedures that have led to the current standard of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to explore its role in the socioeconomic development of Saudi Arabia.
Objectives of the Study
- The primary aim of this study is to review existing data on the development and the role of education in improving the economic standards of the community. We are interested in ascertaining what other professionals say about this issue.
- We also establish attention to the credibility of this study in exploring the causal relationship between education and socioeconomic development.
- Explain the reasons for the current trend of education in this community
- How has education helped your community?
In the Islamic history of Saud Arabia, a few learning places existed that included; halqah, kuttab, palaces schools, bookstores, scholar’s houses and badiahs. These learning places existed to help people gain some skills, even though, their curriculum was limited. They were characterized by poor physical facilities, lack of trained teachers and, therefore, could not meet the growing demand for skilled personnel and also support those who wished to continue with education. However, King Abdulaziz with full knowledge of the advantages of education built the first formal established educational facility in 1925 that he called “the Directorate of Education.”
This department was under the ministry of interior due to lack of enough personnel to run an individual Department of Education, (Alromi, 2000). The state of Saudi Arabia requested for assistance from countries like Egypt to help in developing the education framework and to address an incompetence of the Saudi Arabian education system. However, the high turnout of students directed the general directorate of education to change regulations where the Directorate controlled all the learning activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Alromi, 2000)
Philosophers explain “the first state managed school in Saudi Arabia dates back in 1925.” Amidst many challenges, the institution stood as the only advanced learning facility for a decade with more establishments in 1936. By 1939, these institutions changed to what is known today as elementary schools with up to 2,319 pupils being enrolled. With the increasing demand for education that resulted from the state growth in wealth, more elementary schools were established to 182 in 1949.
By 1950, over 90 percent of the total Saudi Arabian population was uneducated. Illiteracy and the related factors made the Saudi Arabian government make education an important goal. Other factors included; building the country’s economy and responding to the growing technology that required technical skills. In 1953, the directorate of education changed to be the ministry of education and King Fahad was appointed to head this ministry.
He encouraged the development of education with the support from the State and other organizations. To promote their goal, learning was free for all and other incentives such as textbooks and transport were available for students. It was to encourage and promote education in relation to the perception that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia put on education, (Al-Zaid, 1982)
The primary role of education in any society is to respond and satisfy the needs of the community. However, the purpose of education in any society depends on their cultural habits and the way of living. Education is a tool required to address the changing needs of a community as it establishes itself. Similarly, the primary purpose of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in line with Islamic education heritage, (Wang, 2013). However, the high level of illiteracy during King Abdulaziz Ibn era was also responsible for the development of education.
In this research, we shall conduct a detailed reflection on the available studies about the development of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We will also carry out surveys on chosen sample populations to fulfill my hypothesis. The data collected is then processed and analyzed defined software of data analysis and later discussed in my final report.
The study will use a quantitative method of data collection to explore the hypothesis fully. This method is favorable because the research requires dealing with an actual outcome in terms of observable theories that include statistical and mathematical techniques, (Creswell, 2013).
The study will include structured interviews, review of secondary sources of already existing data from libraries and government archives.
Methods of Data Collection
I plan to use closed question interviews in exploring specific trends in the development of education, (Alderson and Scott, 1996). My work will also involve a review of already researched work on the development and the role of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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Reliability and validity
The use of quantitative design will enable collecting and analyzing statistical data simultaneously through the use of specific questions. This method reduces errors from irregularities since I will collect accurate data, (LeCompte et al. 1982).
My samples will include individually selected stakeholders and existing literature related to the role and development of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. My primary aim is only to collect particular information that will be statistically analyzed to fulfill my hypothesis.
Assumptions and Limitations
The development of Education system of a given society depends on the role and perception of both the government and stakeholders involved.
Data related to the trends in development only depends on already existing literature, and, therefore, any missing link may lead to a gap in our findings.
The research will use moral guidelines to fulfill the research hypothesis and code of ethics. We will also include informed consent before making interviews with different stakeholders.
Alderson, J. C. & Scott, M. (1996): Insiders, outsiders, and participatory evaluation; In Evaluating second language education, (pp. 25-60), Cambridge: CUP.
Alromi, N. (2000): Vocational Education in Saudi Arabia; State College, PA: Penn State University, 1(1), 1-10.
Al-Zaid, A. M. (1982). Education in Saudi Arabia: A Model with a difference. Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1(1), 4-20.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods Approaches, New York: Sage Publications.
LeCompte, M. & Goetz, J. (1982): Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research; Review of Educational Research, 52(1), 31-60.
Ridge, N. (2014): oil and the expansion of education in the Gulf. In Education and the reverse gender divide in the Gulf States: Embracing the global, ignoring the local (pp. 1(1), 3-9).
Wang, Y. (2013). The need for coherent national strategy for human capital development; In Education Policy Reform Trends in G20 Members, 3(1), 229-243. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.