Saudi launches new teachers' training program
Riyadh, June 21, 2014
Pearson, a major learning company, has announced plans to roll out a new teacher training initiative across Saudi Arabia aimed at bringing key improvements in Mathematics and science education.
It is working closely with the Tatweer Company for Educational Services (T4edu) to roll out the ‘train-the-trainer’ programme, said Mohammed Asiri, the country manager for Saudi Arabia.
The new programme will see Master trainers provide professional development to mathematics and science teachers across the country and help positively change teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning, stated Asiri.
T4edu is the company tasked with rolling out the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Project, a large scale programme of reform that will shape the future of education across the Kingdom.
Improving the knowledge and skills of teachers through the new train-the-trainer initiative will be key to raising math and science standards in Saudi’s schools, and helping fulfil some of the key goals of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Project," remarked Asiri.
A recent global report from Pearson and the Economist Intelligence Unit called The Learning Curve stressed the importance of great teachers in providing great learning.
Enhancing the learning outcomes of mathematics and science students in Saudi Arabia will therefore be closely linked to the country’s teachers having strong content and pedagogical knowledge in these fields, he added.
The first cohort of potential Master Trainers began their training programme in Riyadh in early May. The 80 participants are the first of 500 expected to undertake the programme over the next two years.
According to Asiri, the Master Trainers will be responsible for training more than 100,000 of the Kingdom’s primary and secondary mathematics and science teachers – building capacity and capability amongst its mathematics and science teaching community.
The programme is a flagship component of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Project and of great importance to the Saudi Government who is seeking to improve the level of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the Kingdom.
Research suggests that supporting teaching and learning in these subjects is important for long-term economic growth and prosperity. A 2013 Report from the Brookings Institute found that workers in the STEM field play a direct role in driving economic competiveness and in the invention, creation and maintenance of technologies that drive economic growth. The
Report also noted that 20 per cent of jobs in the United States are in the STEM field, and that the share of jobs requiring STEM knowledge has more than doubled since the Industrial Revolution.
Dr Mohammed Al Zaghibi, the general director of the STEM Educational Initiative from T4EDU, said: "We are delighted to be working with Pearson to deliver a programme that will help improve the overall standard of mathematics and science teaching – and learning – in our country."
"Having a population that has strong skills in the mathematics and science disciplines will be critical to achieving this goal. Maths and science knowledge is essential to a wide-range of professions that drive innovation and productivity – by building strong capability in these areas we can also help build the long-term future of our country," he added.-TradeArabia News Service