How Saudization can cost the country its private schools
Many private schools did not re-open on Sunday after failing to meet the government's criteria.
Around 300 private schools in the Kingdom face closure, while 75 schools were denied license renewal to operate for the new academic year.
Kindergarten and foreign-syllabus schools doubt they will be able to exist under the new rules.
A leading private school in Jeddah is under investigation following a dispute over the salary of a Saudi teacher.
In another case, an expat administrator at a private school was fired upon grounds that it was a Saudi-only position.
The Ministry of Education was previously the only authority tasked with dealing with foreign school affairs. Since then, multiple government departments and agencies have gotten involved in the process.
The Ministry of Labor, local municipalities, the Passport Department, Civil Defense, the National Water Company and the Saudi Electricity Company are now interconnected with school operations.
Ministry authorities have reduced the Saudization quota in private schools to 15 percent. Yet many schools are not even able to achieve a 5-percent rate of nationalization.
The minimum salary for a Saudi female teacher is SR 5,600 including transportation allowance.
In addition, new rules enforced from Sunday stipulate that all schools are required to pay their teachers salaries through bank accounts.
Many schools still can't make ends meet even though the Ministry of Labor is contributing to half of the salary payment through the Human Resources Development Fund.
Schools want to expand business by increasing student intake in order to plug the deficits created by such factors. Yet the Ministry of Education has also refused such measures due to logistical considerations.
There are 501 foreign education schools operating in the Kingdom with 301,213 students according to last year academic statistics.
- What legal authority, though? Egypt resorts to private firms for campus security
- Not 9-5 but 24/7. What can Abu Dhabi to do ease tough working conditions of labourers?
- A bit harsh? New proposal wants to cap how long expats can reside in Kuwait
- Expensive education: GCC to spend $90 billion on education construction by 2020
- AUB students start the academic year with 'mixed emotions' as strike looms