There seems to be an interesting game of hot potato getting underway with Saudi Arabia’s Ministries of Education and Higher Education. Secondary school graduates are coming to university not quite ready for the difficulty and intensity of the course work. Some universities have a ‘foundational year’ in which student shortcomings are addressed before the students start their actual course studies. Not all do, though. It’s now being suggested that current three-year secondary schooling be expanded to four years, Saudi Gazette reports.
This would, at considerable expense, seek to raise intellectual achievement across the board, for both university-bound students as well as those who end their eduction after graduating high school. Having foundation years provided by the universities might better serve to customize the needed educational achievement for particular lines of study. This would be at a lower cost as not everyone gets into, or wants to get into, university. No matter which ministry ends up with the students, though, there will be significant costs associated. If nothing more, additional classrooms will be required, teachers hired, and administration procured. This, of course, says nothing about how students and parents might feel about it.
Officials considering adding one more year to school
RIYADH – The preparation year that Saudi high-school graduates undergo before joining a university may soon be replaced by an additional year of schooling in the secondary grade.
Officials at the ministries of Education and Higher Education are discussing these proposals, Al-Watan newspaper reported Sunday.
Dr. Abdul Fatah Mashat, Dean of Admissions at King Abdul Aziz University said that these plans were discussed by officials responsible for general and higher education.
“It’s a first step to study the possibility of adding an extra year to secondary education instead of a foundation year for university education.”