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More than 80 percent of the top ten ranks in this year’s General Certificate Examinations for Secondary Schools were non-Saudis.
 Riyadh, 26th Jun 2001

  More than 80 percent of students who secured the top ten ranks in this year’s General Certificate Examinations for Secondary Schools were non-Saudis.

Kingdom wide results released by the Ministry of Education recently showed that of the 56 students who shared the top ten ranks in the science division only 11, or 19.6 percent, were Saudis.

Statistics compiled by the Department of Students’ Affairs revealed that Saudis painfully lagged behind in the examinations. “This shows that there is an urgent need for change in the teaching methodology to motivate our students to perform better,” said one English teacher in Qassim.

“The results are a testimony to the indifference and irresponsibility of our students as well as the poor performance by our teachers,” said Muhammad Al-Motairy, whose two sons scored within the respectable range of 70-75 percent in the exams.

Satellite television, computer games, absence of parental supervision and lack of motivation are among the factors that distract our children from their studies, said Abdulrahman Al-Qusair, a student counselor in a Riyadh school. “Non-Saudi students have nothing else but studies in their minds because it is very difficult  to get places in higher education institutions back home unless they score high marks,” he said.

Al-Qusair said the current situation here could not go on forever. “Saudi students already know that the university education is reserved for the best ranking students,” he added.

The results also revealed that 30 of the high ranking students belonged to government schools and only 26 were from private schools. “Whether a student goes to a private school or a government school does not make any difference,” said Al-Qusair.

An objective analysis of the secondary school results over the past six years leads almost to the same conclusion. However, the Ministry of Education is not yet ready for a periodic evaluation of students’ instructional needs.

Source: Arab News©

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