Saudi's private schools risk subsidy cuts for failing Saudization criteria

Published November 8th, 2015 - 12:00 GMT

Around 80 percent of private schools in the Kingdom face the threat of being shut down during the next 18 months for not meeting the Saudization criteria, an official was quoted as saying by local media on Saturday.

“Schools are supposed to meet the condition to employ the set number of nationals, and most of them have failed to do so. This will lead to the cutting off of support such as subsidies when the grace period ends,” Omar Al-Amer, head of the National Committee for Private Education at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said.

The Saudization subsidies and related support mechanisms are granted to private schools by the Human Resources Fund, Hadaf.
Al-Amer said when the support is cut off, the costs of teachers’ salaries will rise by 40 percent. “This will result in big losses for the investors, which may wean them away from this sector,” he said.

Pressure will also increase on public schools to accommodate more students coming from these schools, he said.

The official agreed that the biggest problem facing this sector is the conditions investors are supposed to fulfill. “Such procedures make the investment environment unattractive for Saudis, not to mention foreign investors. However, the procedures applied by the Ministry of Education, such as the creation of one-stop offices, will double the success of investment in this sector by 25 percent,” he added.


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