The Education Systems of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Netherlands

Short History of Education System in Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Netherlands

This research paper discusses the comparison between the education systems of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Netherlands from kindergarten through higher education.

To begin with, education system in Netherlands is divided according to the needs of the students, for example, relying on the students’ background. In fact, there are different schools characterized by the individuals classified due to the divergent age groups which are further subdivided into educational levels. Namely, there are public and special schools in Netherlands also referred to as religious and general special or neutral schools. Education system in Netherlands is compulsory for every person who is aged 18 years and below.

On the contrary, the education system classification in Saudi Arabia concentrates on the gender division with three distinct school types: general education for males, another one for females, and a smaller subdivision that teaches exceptionally Islamic traditions. Albeit girls and boys study separately, they have the same curriculum and annual examinations. In Saudi education is based on religion which mostly focuses on the Islamic studies and Arabic language. For instance, boys are trained to become religious clergymen through the Islamic education. Secondary schools in Saudi have a common curriculum but they especially accentuate the Islamic and Arabic studies. Markedly, children are usually enrolled in the primary education when they are six years and expected to graduate at the age of twelve. In Saudi Arabia children attend kindergarten only if their parents wish so.

In Netherlands, in contrast, the government encourages parents to take children to a kindergarten by helping them financially. What is more, Netherlands children start their elementary school at the age of five until the age of twelve while in Saudi, as mentioned before, they begin with the primary education when they are six years old.

Government Expenditure Per Primary Student as Percentage of GDP Per Capita in Both Countries

The expenditure per primary student in Netherlands in 2011 was 18.16%. Significantly, for the past thirteen years the government expenditure per student was at its highest point reaching 18.86% in the year 2009. In 1999 the expenditure was at its lowest level which was 15.16%. Talking about Saudi Arabia, the government expenditure per primary student is currently 13.12%. Meanwhile, it is constantly increasing from primary, secondary, and to the tertiary level.

Different Policies and Approaches to School Evaluation

The government uses various approaches and policies to provide a quality education for children. Acually, in Saudi Arabia the government applies a method called continuous evaluation that involves following the students’ performance and testing the skills of each of them in the school. The government of Saudi Arabia also evaluates the learning materials to improve the students’ advancement (Chapian, 2010).

It goes without saying that the use of textbooks helps both the teachers and students. In Saudi Arabia manuals are designed by the Ministry of Education according to the leaning objectives. Notably, the leaning materials in Saudi Arabia are evaluated by the method called checklist in which the teachers are able to identify the areas of strengths and weaknesses thus upgrading their own as well as the students’ performance.

In comparison to Saudi Arabia, Netherlands give schools freedom to conduct their studies hence making the schools responsible for their achievements. This procedure is referred to as a school-self-evaluation and it results in the quality education and excellent productivity for both teachers and students. The students’ progress is observed individually by a special monitoring system. It shows how one is advancing by comparing the past performance with the current performance of the student.

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The Structure of the School

The education system in Netherlands is unified. To explain, the directives of the school come from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science while the management and administration of the schools are decentralized. Authority of the schools comes from the municipality. In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, such bodies as Minister in charge of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, and the Organization for Technical Education (Frank, 2010) govern the education system. As a matter of fact, The Supreme Committee for Education Policy is the highest institution that controls the overall education sphere.

The Framework of the Evaluation and Assessment Education, Schools and Students

Another key point is that evaluation and assessment of education in Netherlands are based on the general academic achievement or excellence, creativity, ICT literacy, and collaboration. In Saudi Arabia, conversely, factors such as creativity and ICT literacy are not taken into consideration but are determined by ones’ desire (Kamenade, 2006). Therefore, it means that it is done based on one’s academic progress only.

The Framework of the System of Evaluation System

Over many years different policies of evaluation have been implemented and various experiments have been conducted to evaluate the education system in Netherlands. A multitude of schools present their results annually to be inspected. Moreover, some schools put in place self-evaaluation and use the results to enhance their success. Saudi Arabian act otherwise as the schools traditionally check their learning materials and choose the best ones.

The Framework of School Evaluation

Netherlands Act of Primary and Secondary Education is organized and governed by the concrete rules. Specifically, the Act manages the position of students, their parents, and employees as well as continually controls and innovates the necessary equipment in order to provide a high-grade education. The Public Evaluation Commission in Saudi Arabia organizes and regulates the formation of all the school types.

Framework of Teacher Appraisal

Each school practice concerns the whole staff and sometimes employers have their own method for the teacher appraisals and this is exactly how the teacher assessments in Netherlands are performed. Unlike Saudi Arabia, the school principals manage the teachers evaluation. Important to realize is that the appraisal takes place when the teachers get employed (Hamdan, 2015). The principal uses the appraisal results of each teacher to determine their payment.

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The Level of Competitiveness

Netherlands is one of the countries with the best education system. Over and above, it is one of the ninth best countries in the globe. Its education system was divided according to the needs of the students. To enumerate, education system in Netherlands comprises the primary education (general), advanced education, and special primary education which is for the children with disabilities. Tertiary education is the highest level following the secondary level. By way of contrast, the education system of Saudi Arabia is not successful while it is permanently being criticized due to the low standards. Besides, the country has weak scientific instructions and the teachers are not well trained.

The Wellbeing of the Students

When the student joins the school in Netherlands, the management makes sure the students are settled and that they enjoy the life at school where there are pastoral care, school counseling, student health, and Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE). In Saudi Arabia the situation is not so thriving and the well-being of students and teachers must be more considered and substantially enhanced (Daniels, 2009).

Conclusion

The education system of Netherlands is more advanced compared to the education system of Saudi Arabia. This is so because it is more elaborated and reformed, the teachers are well trained and the schools are greatly equipped. However, the system of education in Saudi Arabia is not strong as it is still undergoing reforms, its institutions are not modernized, and the teachers lack proficiency.

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