English classes to begin from first grade in Saudi Arabia in 2021, says minister

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Saudi Arabia will offer English language classes to first graders next academic year, introducing language instruction much earlier than in previous years, the Kingdom’s Minister of Education Hamad bin Mohammed al-Asheikh said in an interview on al-Ekhbariyah TV.

Currently, English language classes are only offered in public schools in the country from grade six.

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The decision comes to ensure that Saudi Arabian students are well-equipped with the knowledge they need to pursue future careers, as well as provide them with the ability to compete within the international job market, the minister said.

“The aim [of these changes] is to benefit students and the future citizen who will graduate [to become] a person who can compete internationally, and who has the qualifications [to do so],” al-Asheikh told al-Ekhbariyah.

The ministry will also be implementing a number of other changes, according to the minister, including approving five new science and mathematics courses.

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Four of the five courses will be introduced to all public schools across the Kingdom, while the fifth will only be implemented in the major schools around the country.

E-learning will also begin from the fourth grade, he said.

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