ASSIGNMENTS ON EDUCATION IN SAUDI ARABIA
The US Saudi Business Council (2010) observed that the largest country of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, allocated over 25% of the country’s budget (US$ 35.5 billion) towards education and manpower development in 2010, realizing the need for investing in both quality and quantity of its human resource reserves. Investment in human capital is a salient approach in stimulating economic and social growth of any country and the Saudi Arabian government has been quite active in this regard. They poured in a lot of money into education development and implemented some significant educational reforms, however, there still seems to be some lacunae in the overall approach of their system. The unemployment rates are high in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region (Maroun et al, 2010), students still struggle with their English proficiency at the university-level (Alnufaie, 2014) and the job-worthy Saudis still fall short of the international competition (Hoetjes, 2013). Efforts have been made and are still being made to overcome these weaknesses, but the Saudi educational context still does not match its stated objectives. There have been feats, as well as failings, in raising the Saudi educational standards, especially with regard to English and this is precisely the object of the current discussion.