Saudi education sector takes anti-terror stance
Several private and public universities have fired a number of its faculty members
Schools and universities in the Kingdom have assigned specialized committees to scan the background of all religious and historical studies faculty members before hiring them, Al-Hayat daily reported.
Several private and public universities have fired a number of its faculty members who were proven to belong to an extreme group or support one.
Some schools and universities have stopped hiring foreign teachers of Islamic Studies and replaced them with Saudis. Many have questioned the bias in selecting Islamic Studies teachers but experts say it is the result of Saudization and the fact that there is a profuse number of Saudis in the field of Islamic Studies.
“Anti-terrorism regulations apply to all nationalities. An example of a tragic ending for a teacher is Eman Al-Bugha who was a Syrian teacher at the University of Dammam. She quit her job to join the ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] group,” said a source on condition of anonymity.
The head of the National Committee for International Education at the Chambers of Commerce, Mansour Saleh, said:
“There are no problems in issuing visas for Islamic Studies teachers from abroad. It just so happens that we don’t need any with the surplus of local Islamic Studies graduates. Even private and international schools are hiring Saudis.”
Several principals of different schools reported that hiring Saudis for Islamic Studies teaching jobs is not a regulation set by the Ministry of Education.
“We give priority to Saudis of both gender and if they meet the qualifications then we hire them,” said one principal.
Umm Al-Qura University faculty member Ihsan Al-Mutaz said most teachers of Islamic Studies are Saudis but non-Saudi teachers also teach the subject.
“There are non-Saudi teachers but it depends on the qualifications presented not the nationality. As for intellectual security, there is a special committee that conducts interviews with foreign applicants in their home country and scans their resumes.
“We follow all security measures and ensure that the people we hire are not associated with any terrorist associations,” said Al-Mutaz.
Intellectual security expert Abdulaziz Al-Saeed said Islamic Studies in schools and universities is being taught as it has always been. “Nothing drastic has changed in the curricula. Universities are very careful about the content they teach. They always ensure that moderation in religion is taught and not extremism. The education sector understands that bringing in a qualified teacher is a much more important job than bringing in a qualified doctor,” said Al-Saeed.
This story was originally posted on the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 17, 2014.
Saudi authorities arrest 33 suspects over terror attackSaudi interior ministry arrested 33 militants suspected of links to Al-Ahsa governorate attack Middle East
Ministry: Drastic drop in Saudis joining terror groupsThe number of Saudi terrorists has declined by 50 percent since a royal decree was issued last year, officials say Middle East
Four Saudi women among 5 jailed for terror linksThe women have been banned from travel for periods similar to their jail terms Middle East
‘No terror suspicion’ behind Saudi killing of AmericanSecretary of State John Kerry says U.S evaluating its 'security posture' following the shooting Middle East
War on terror needs years, says Saudi FMSaud al-Faisal also called for more decisive policies and decisions to fight terrorism in the region Middle East
Death sentences for 4 Saudis in ‘bloodiest terror’ cellThe defendants were also convicted of fighting abroad and purchasing five tonnes of aluminium nitrate Middle East