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English from first grade in Saudi schools

Saudi Arabia’s state schools will start to teach English as a subject from the first grade of primary school starting from the 2021 academic year, Minister of Education Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh announced at the end of September.

Speaking to state broadcaster Al-Ekhbariya TV, Al-Asheikh said that there will be new curricula for the next academic year, with “digital education” to be taught from the fourth year of primary school, and a greater emphasis on science and maths in the primary school curriculum.

He added that the task of “improving secondary education” in the Kingdom would begin in 2021, with the aim of helping “the future citizens” to “compete at an international level.”

Some school subjects will continue to be delivered online even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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