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The advent of Modern Education system in Saudi Arabia

Modern education system was introduced to Saudi Arabia in the late 19 th

century. Islamic higher education mainly existed in the main cities during
that era. The commencement of modern education helped to diversify in
many different fields of expertise. The Ottomans were the first to introduce
modern and advanced education system in the Hejaz region. Doors to new
opportunities were opened in the Ottoman provinces of Hejaz and Al Ahsa
in the new era. During 1920s, some private schools began offering modern
education subjects and courses. This initiative was started in larger towns of
Saudi Arabia. Later on, in the 1930s the modern education was officially
promoted by the state department.
As time advanced, many schools were setup in the year 1951. The ministry
of education came into existence in the mid of year 1954. It was formed to
manage and promote better education policies. It helped the education
sector to blossom in the coming years. In 1964, the government initiated
public level education for girls. Though, it was confronted by conservative
groups yet the government continued its project. Secured and essential
education systems were initiated with the development programs
announced by the government in the late 70s.
By the end of 90s, the literacy rate for men was about 15% in Saudi Arabia.
Women had only 2% literacy rate. Later in the year 2002, this ratio changed
enormously with mens literacy rate reaching at 73% and women 48%
respectively. Subsequently, the percentage kept on growing and in the mid
of 2002 the figure reached up to 91% and 72%. The Saudi government has
done a great job in improving the education system despite many
hindrances standing in the way. The standard of education that is being

provided to the budding students matches international standards. The

results are exceptionally good and clearly visible in the present era.
The Saudi education system gives huge benefits to the students. Though
it is not mandatory to get education but the students are given free study
course material and health services once they opt to study. The education
services are also free. The education level in different regions is totally
dependent on the number of schools present in that particular region. The
government is working hard towards enhancing the education system and
at the same time working rigorously towards increasing the rate of

As per the old data, following students have enrolled from 1960 to 1989.

22% Boys and 2% Girls were enrolled in the year 1960

81% Boys and 43% Girls were enrolled in the year 1981

1.4 million Boys and 1.2 million Girls were enrolled in the year 1989

Nowadays, female students have exceeded the number of male students in

terms of enrollment in schools as well the universities. Saudi Arabia now has
73 colleges and 16,600 schools that are only for Girls.
As per the latest data, there are about 1.64 million female and 1.19 million
male students enrolled in Saudi Arabia. About 1.5 million boys and girls are
studying in the private schools.