Sustainable Development for Women Education in Saudi Arabia

1.0 Introduction

Sustainable development for women education in Saudi Arabia has been an area which has undergone a remarkable progress. The Saudi Arabian government has set policies on education which has made to the realization of a substantial increase of the number of the girl child who access education. This has reduced the gender gap in different educational levels. Through sustainable education for all, a number of social developments are evident in the state. For example, the increase in the percentage of women taking political responsibility and other senior positions; enhancement in health and nutrition and decline in fertility and mortality rates (Elizabeth M. King, 1997).

However, there have been some constraints such as; public education system structure, dominating social norms and traditions which are hindering the women realization of equality in the society and the labor market. Today, the government has considered it as a challenge and prioritized in the reforming of the educational system for girls.

2.0 Brief history

The education sector for women in Saudi Arabia has been taking certain trends to arrive at its current position. In 1953, after the Ministry of Education was established, the Saudi government started by opening boy’s schools. Girls’ education was by then confined to their homes where they were taught to understand Quran and writing skills.  Education for women was originally implemented during the mid-fifties. Since then, it has been highly valued in the Saudi community.

Saudi government has devoted an enormous amount of resources in public education.  In the realization, of a sustainable development of education in women’s education government has focused on development of the girls’ schools. For the past decade, the educational reform in Saudi has focused mainly on infrastructure, employing more teachers, curriculum change and construction of schools. The rise in the rate of unemployment in women among the Saudi has resulted from, the divergence existing between the sorts of expertise provided in the curricula for physical education and the skills required in the labor market. The education reforms on curriculum change should focus on improving the outcome of the public education for girls to enable them obtain jobs, and social inclusion.

3.0 Outline of the women education development

Women participation in the work force is required in order to realize sustainable development of education for women.  Women opportunities in the job market will enhance national income, since the educated women will provide labor to the nation. The Saudi society has exclusive social attributes however; the government ought to invest more in particular specializations and proficiencies in order to create balance between developmental demand and the women participation.

The Saudi curriculum of the public education addresses gender differently owing to the anticipations of society. The education systems have different courses for both boys and girls, whereby girls are made to focus on their future role as mothers and boys focus on development activities (Saudi Arabia,  2008).. This has resulted in inadequate range of specialization of girls’ student in university and colleges.

4.0 What is being done to address this problem in a sustainable solution?

Today, the main concern of the Saudi government is the assurance of education for all in the society without bias.  This right to education is stated in the elementary requirement of the basic law of governance, which ensures compulsory free education for all children in elementally classes.

Over the past four decades, the government has largely focused on construction of education facilities, which has seen an increase in the number of students who enrolls for colleges, in addition, to drop in illiteracy rates. According to the UNESCO 2008 projection, the Saudi government is on a rapid progress toward achieving universal primary education though more efforts is required.

5.0 Analysis of the intervention

Considerable efforts to promote girl’s education have been realized from the Saudi Arabia government. On 7 September 2000, Saudi government sectioned and endorsed the convention on the eradication of different form of bias against Women, which gives an opportunity for all in both academic and labor market.

Moreover, the national results indicate a significant growth in the realization of gender impartiality amongst the school students in Saudi Arabia.  In the year 2004-2005, the statistics indicate a 48 percentage increase in the number of female student in the school as compared with 33% during 1974 to 1975 (AbuKhalil, 2004).

Challenges addressed

First, the government needs to address the issue of marriage and insufficient awareness of the responsibilities that an educated girls’ child can undertake to develop the society (Shawky & Milaat, 2000). Secondly, the high rate of girl’s dropout rate in schools and colleges, according to UNESCO report 2005, there was a school dropout rate equivalent to 3.22% of total population.

6.0 Recommendations

The Saudi government has to focus more on providing sustainable development for women education and see to it that women benefit adequately from education.  Thus, an educational reform strategy should be formulated, to take in account the demands and priorities expected from the society for young women.  The government should focus on addressing the economic and social changes affecting the society through policies of universal education. The women need valuable educational potential to enable them contributes in the development of the country.

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