Education in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia has always been based on a very monolithic version of Islam. Religious elites control public ministries like Justice and Education in a very restrictive way; for example, they would not let a student read and outside book, that is a book that is not included in the Saudi curriculum. Extremist ideologies are taught at schools through the use of textbooks that spread hate towards Christians, Jews, and even Muslims; furthermore, the terrorist attacks that the world has experienced may be considered a consequence of this school of thought in which everyone who does not practice Islam is an unbeliever and may deserve to be punished. Recently, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz launched a Public Education Development Project known as tatweer which, if directly translated, means reform. The idea of this educational reform is to improve the quality of the Saudi students by making them more competitive for the further open and modern business world. The fact that this improvement has been based on a change in the educational curriculum has caused different reactions. There is a group which claims that this is not only a serious religious issue but a fake political step by which Saudi leaders mean to please other nations such as the United States of America. Some other Saudi teachers and citizens are upset about the fact that this reform is being driven by external forces. There is another group of people that argues that the reform is merely an educational fact which intends to make Saudi Arabia a really competitive nation by graduating more thoughtful, job-ready students capable of practicing principles of dialogue and respect between them and the rest of the World, no matter the religious differences. This $2.4 billion Tatweer was launched three years ago. It has provided Saudi Arabia schools with new technological resources but has not been able to remove the religious ideology from them. Removing sections of books does not represent a real and transcendental...
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