As the school year begins again and children return to their classrooms after a months-long summer break, there’s been a momentous change for female teachers in the KSA. As part of a government initiative to improve the country’s education system, entitled “The Early Childhood Schools Project”, female teaching staff will be educating boys in the youngest school years.
The project targets boys and girls from kindergarten to primary school stage, between the ages of four and eight, in 1,460 public schools across the kingdom. Women will teach 13.5 per cent of the young male students involved, which, according to the Saudi Ministry of Education, will leave millions of dollars in the education budget to spend elsewhere. Young boys and girls will continue to study in separate classrooms and use separate facilities.
This is a first for women in the kingdom and follows a string of recent steps forward - including women granted permission to drive, travel alone and start businesses, with several taking up jobs in government, as news anchors and as flight attendants.