Why a majority of Saudi parents enroll their children in international schools?

In the past few years, great ratios of Saudi parents are showing interest to enroll their children in private international schools as compared to the public schools. Although, private schools have pretty good amount of tuition fees which range between SR 30,000 and SR 80,000 annually still it is surprising that a large proportion of Saudi parents go for private international schools. Most of the Parents believe in the Kingdom now that private international schools are better in education than public schools because private ones teach foreign syllabus and develop important values in the minds of children which is better for their grooming and basics.[irp]

A daily newspaper also reported that there is the rapid increasing ratio of Saudi parents who are enrolling their children in private international schools. There are many different approaches of enrolling children in private schools which include new modes of teaching, more qualified teachers, extracurricular activities and advanced curricula.  A research was done by a group of researchers at a local university of Kingdom by taking a sample of 600 parents belonging to four cities. The research specifies that most parents prefer to enroll their children in international schools and the main reason behind is just the medium of teaching in English from the elementary till the secondary grades.

In another survey, which was conducted by a professor of education at Umm Al-Qura University, Muhammad Al-Khaldi, stated that the survey results counted more in favor of private international schools. The survey indicates that more than 70 percent of the Saudi parents will enroll their children in international schools whereas 18 percent refused the concept of international schools.

Najwa Al- Meqbil who is a professor of educational management, holds the perception that private international schools are most likely good for those Saudi students who are planning to live abroad with their families.   According to Najwa Al- Meqbil, teaching methodologies used in private international schools should be adopted by local public schools in the Kingdom.

When the student is enrolled in any private international school, after completion of three grades, they can decide to go to public or continue with private school. Nehal Al-Humood, who is doing the job in private-sector, holds a different point of view for international schools. According to her, international schools impose a negative impact on Saudi children which can harm their cultural values. Most of the Saudi families like to enroll their children in international schools just for the sake of show off. Besides this show-off, these families are not aware of the negative effect on their kid’s minds.[irp]

Whereas, Noora Al-Ghamdi who was working overseas as the Saudi cultural attaché in a foreign country stated that international schools provide a good quality of education which is really hard to search for private or public Arabic school.  International schools provide a platform for Saudi students where they can learn and face challenging tasks and get familiar with the foreign environment. International schools give their students enriching and challenging experiences.

 Source: Saudi Gazette