Saudi Arabia plans to reform its education system to better align results with the needs of the labor market.
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia plans to reform the kingdom’s ailing educational system to foster values that include tolerance and hard work, and better prepare citizens to find work.
The renovation will cover all levels of education, from early childhood to adult learning opportunities, according to a summary of the Human Capacity Development Program announced by the official Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday.
The program aims to better align the kingdom’s educational results with the needs of the labor market, since unemployment is around 11.7%. Other goals include fostering values such as moderation, perseverance and a “culture of hard work,” he said.
The reform is part of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” strategy to diversify the oil-dependent economy. It’s also a sign that he wants to soften the kingdom’s reputation as an ultra-conservative Islamic state.
Saudi Arabia’s public schools have long been a bastion of principles preached by its religious establishment, such as strict gender segregation. Prince Mohammed has been loosening social restrictions and calling on citizens to follow a more “moderate” path of Islam, even as he cracks down on national critics.