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