Coming Soon: Smart Schools in Saudi Arabia

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King Abdul Aziz Public Library
A Saudi national at the King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Riyadh. Photo-Waleed

The Saudi government plans to launch 15 smart schools in each of the country’s region by February 2013. The Smart Schools Project is an initiative of the government to modernize the country’s education system.

According to Ahmad Al-Dandani, Ministry of Education’s Director General of School Equipment, each region would boast eight schools for girls and seven schools for boys in the scheme’s first phase. Launched at a cost of SR 800 million, smart schools would introduce “a group of modern techniques that would make education more flexible, more enjoyable and easier.”

The education system in Saudi Arabia is being reformed through the introduction and application of global concepts and standards. A company has been contracted to install equipment in schools for self-regulated classrooms. Installation of the equipment is likely to be completed in a week after the launch of project.

Sharing details of the educational reforms, Al-Dandani stated that, “the ministry established 6,400 new classrooms for self-regulated learning all over the Kingdom. These classrooms contain all basic technical equipment, like interactive whiteboards, computers, documentary cameras, and other interactive materials including video and audio devices”.

The success of project will be measured through inspections during the next six months. These inspections would be carried out using smart devices, which would allow the school administration to access performance reports at anytime from anywhere. Students would also have access to learning material via an Internet connection.

Saudi Arabia is keen to develop its educational sector in order to meet high demand for qualified professionals in a booming economy. As locals prefer to take up government jobs, expatriates form a large part of the workforce in the country’s private sector. The Smart Schools Project aims to improve learning through the introduction of technology in the traditional classroom. This initiative is expected to help the Saudi education system to cope up with challenges of the modern world.

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