Culture and Education in Saudi Arabia
Culture and Education in Saudi Arabia
One of the factors that impact education in every society is their cultural tendencies. This is because each society have its expectations of its children and participants. In some societies, students are only allowed to work independently while in other communities, children are allowed to work with their peers and this is likely to affect education in these societies in one way or another. Other societies are gender sensitive while others are not and this too is likely to affect education in one way or another. To understand the effects that cultural factors have on education, a study of Saudi Arabia’s culture and educational progress in the past few years will be done.
Culture refers to a society’s beliefs, morals, customs, religion and language among other factors. It is a society’s shared patterns of beliefs, which is learned through socialization meaning that culture is unique to a certain group within which growth and group identity are fostered. To understand Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to understand each of their cultural aspects such as religion, language and beliefs and values.
Saudi Arabia’s religion is Islam, which is the state’s religion. The state requires all citizens to be Muslims meaning that one attempting to be a citizen of this country must convert into this religion. Because of this requirement, minorities do not have permission to exercise their other religious practices. The state also allows the punishment of apostasy and conversion to other religions. In relation to Islam, the country houses the holiest place in the Islam religion, which is one of the reasons why religion is taken very seriously in this nation.
Because of their belief, people from this nation have a mode of dressing that is in line with Islam teachings. This is especially so among women who wear the hijab dress. Men on the other hand are also required to wear long dresses that go down their whole body. They also wear some head cloth. The clothing on women should be won even in the public.
All social interactions in this nation are strongly based on gender segregation and also respect that comes with age differences. The people showcase a polite behavior and interaction of men and women outside their domestic space is limited. The society favors men than it favors women and women are supposed to respect their men.
Gender Roles and Statuses
As explained earlier, this society is based on serious segregation of gender and this is highly advocated by both the society and the state. Women are supposed to work in areas where their major interactions is women and so are men. For example, women tend to work more in girls’ schools while men work in boy’s school. As a result, men tend to have more power and rights than women do. Some privileges only. Women are supposed to seek permission from men when doing some things such as travelling and when making other important decisions.
Education refers to learning and skill, beliefs and value that are facilitated in a certain society. In Saudi Arabia, the main goals of education are centered on Islam religion. This is because the role of education is to spread and plant thee Islamic creed on the students and to provide them with the teachings and values of Islam. Education in this society is aimed at developing the conduct of students to the right and constructive direction.
In fact, the national government’s strategic plan is built along this strategic plan, which is providing both male and female with the explained values.
Quality of Education
Saudi Arabia is committed on providing its citizens with quality education. In fact, the nation has both private and public schools all which are willing to provide their students with quality education. Currently, the region understands that their past education has not been of high quality and as a result, the government is working hard to be fruitful in this area.
The government has therefore decided to allocate much of its fund in the development of education in this area despite the fact that its national budget have been affected by the low oil prices.
The secondary education in Saudi Arabia is preceded by the elementary stage and the intermediate stage, which takes place for 6 to 9 years. Secondary education acts as the final stage of the nation’s general education and this stage takes place for three years. After completing the intermediate stage, students receive the school certificate for this level after which students are required to go to the next level. The secondary school level earns students a school certificate after which they are free to join a training program in their respective area of choice or join universities and colleges of their choices. The recent statistics by Saudi Arabia shows that the secondary school enrollment rate is high. In 2014, the enrollment rate was at 108% in terms of total enrollment regardless of age. This enrollment is higher than the previous rates, which were at 107 in 2013, 95% in 2009 and 27% in 1979. Male and female enrolment has also increased in the past few years since women enrollment in 2014 was at 93% while male enrolment was at 122%.
Currently, the adult literacy rate at Saudi Arabia is high since the nations since it was at 96% in 2013 according to a report in this area. The report found out that girls enrollment in school have increased, which is the reason why adult literacy in this country has increased. One of the reasons for this high literacy rates according to reports on this area was the role that religious organizations are playing in improving the nation’s literacy levels.
The literacy level at 2013 was a big change from the previous levels since in 2007, it was at 13.7%. Local mosques are believed to have worked hard using Quranic schools in order to educate the masses. From this rate, Saudi Arabia literacy rate remains higher than that of other nations in the Middle Eastern region.
Conclusions and Recommendations
From what can be deduced from the education statistics in Saudi Arabia, the nation’s education level is rising in terms of quality and literacy. This is because the previous reports have a very great gap with the most recent reports in this area. As explained earlier, culture and education are related and culture can either strengthen education or weaken it. The previous poor performance of the nation in terms of quality and enrolment rate can therefore be attributed to the nation’s religion and culture, which is more inclined to the male citizens than the female citizens. However, increased performance in education can be attributed to the increased awareness of the importance of an equal society and importance of women in the society.
To continue with the high level of performance, the nation should continue placing more value on its citizens regardless of their age or sex. The nation should continue providing more jobs and career chances to its females, which is likely to develop it further than it is already developed. The nation should also continue with the emphasis of both private and secondary education for increased and quality education.