This essay will focus on the comparison between the education system in Saudi Arabia and England. When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, education was not easy to get to everyone and limited to individual teaching at religious school in mosques or by private teacher at home. (Al-obaid,2006) These schools taught Islamic law and basic writing and reading skills. By the end of the century, Saudi Arabia had a national educational system given that, a free education to student from primary school to high school through university to all students.
The objectives of the Saudi education policy are to make sure that education becomes well-organized, to meet the religious, economic and social needs of the country and reduce the number of uneducated in the community (Al-Obaid,2006). As a result of that, thousands of primary, intermediate and high schools have been started by the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency of Girls Education.
General education system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has three different levels, six years of primary school starting from age seven years old and three years each of intermediate and high school (Saudiembassy,2004). First the students have to start from primary school and the child starts in this level at the age of 6 to 12. In this first period they study for example, Arabic art education, mathematics, home economics (for girls) and Islamic studies. When the students pass this level they move directly to the next level.
This is the intermediate school .In general, the student will be 12 years old when they enter this school and they stay until they are 15 years old, which is three years. The subjects they study will be the same however, they are higher level than primary school and they take new subjects such as, English, geography, history, physical education, religious studies and science.
After the intermediate school the student starts their high school, which is usually between the ages of 15 to 18. The first year is a general year and students study of all subjects. Consequently, they will be able to choose what they will study in the next tow years. There are three different kinds of subjects in high school general, religion and technology high school. After the first year of high school student have the ability to choose between scientific studies or literary studies. There are also vocational schools that train in agriculture, technical and business studies take place at the universities. Every year student has exams if the pass they will move to the next level but if they do not, they have to retake the same level.
The government of Saudi Arabia has always recognized the importance of providing educational opportunities to girls as well as boys, by the developing have been since the first government school has been built in 1964(Ministry of education,2006).
By 1999, there were eight universities and a large number of other institutions of higher education, by 2003, there were also several private institutes of higher education with more planned. Another was to establish undergraduate and postgraduate in most disciplines at Saudi universities and colleges (Ministry of education ,2006). As a result, Saudi student can now obtain degrees in almost any field within the country and only if necessary pursue specializations aboard. For example King Abdullah University of science and technology (KAUST), which is the newest university in the country, and focus on areas of science and technology that are important to Saudi Arabia the region and the world.
Therefore, the Saudi government provides support to student every year by spending billion of billion dollars on education development. This huge number includes a monthly allowance of about 145 pound given to the student study literature and about 200 pound to student study science to pay for books, transport and accommodation also for life expense. On the other hand, cause of given allowance for the student that to help them to travel from their village or town to the nearest big city because the country has University only in big city (Ministry of higher education,2000). The students do not have to repay the money been spent on them back to the government when the finish their study in the university. However, there are some strict rules regarding this monthly allowance, the student have to be attending most of the classes, except the ones with an excuse, also the student have to maintain at least a 2.0 grade to be able to get the allowance from the government. In case of retaking a module the student should get a warning letter and if they didn't improve their performance the student would be held until the grade mark at least 2.0( Middle East Finance and Economy.1996 ).
The education system in the UK's run by the government as well and is free for all children from 5 to 16 furthermore, the education in England is compulsory for all children in that aged. The UK has worked hard to improve the education (BBC,2000) . As a result, the education system in the UK is one of the strongest in the world, it is divided into four main parts or four key stages, for each subject and for each key stage, programmes of study set up what pupils should be taught.
At primary education which generally included key stage one and tow begins at age 5 year old continues until age 11 year old, studying during this period subjects such as English, mathematics and science, in English for example they learn speaking by telling stories, both real and imagined also they learn to listen carefully and to show their understanding of what can they see and what can they hear by making relevant comments with growing attention to what they listen to. In addition, student learn reading by reading stories, poetry and picture books (British council,2008).
After six years student will go to secondary school automatically for key stages three and four they spend five years in this level from age of eleven to age of sixteen. Student study as at key stage one and tow, plus a modern foreign language, in this subject, a programme has been set up for key stage three and key stage four in to different parts learning and using the target language, that covers the skills and understanding that should be developed through the target language at both stages and areas of experience, this sets out the broad topic areas that provide contexts for learning and using the target language at each key stage. (Department for education,1995).
- Al-Obaid, Abdullah, 2006.Education[online].Available: http://www.moe.gov.sa/openshare/EnglishCon/About-Saud/Education2.htm_cvt.html [accessed 05 December 2006]
- Saudiembassy,2004,Genaral education[online].Available: http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/education/general_education.aspx [accessed 07Marchr 2006]
- Ministry of education, higher education[online].Available: http://www.moe.gov.sa/openshare/englishcon/About-Saud/Education3.htm_cvt.html [accessed 03 December 2006]
- Middle East Finance and Economy.1996." Saudi education development is economic priority".[Online]. Available at: http://www.ameinfo.com/146933.html [accessed: Feb 2008]
- BBC. 2002." Education receives £15bn extra". [Online].Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/2129864.stm [accessed: July 2002]
- British council,2008, UK EDUCATION SYSTEMShttp://www.britishcouncil.org/spacer.gif[online].Available: http://www.britishcouncil.org/usa-education-uk-system-k-12-education.htm [accessed 10 May 2008]
- Department for education,1995.Education. The national curriculum. 3rd ed.London.