The Controversy Surrounding the Three-Semester System in Saudi Arabia: Objective Reasons for Change and the Impact on Education

2023-06-07 02:30:07

Al-Marsad Newspaper: Journalist Aql Al-Aql called on the Ministry of Education to reveal its objective reasons for changing the two-semester system and approving the three-semester system, despite not being welcomed during the societal discussion, stressing that this system will encourage many absences among students and teachers.

Adoption of the three-semester system

Al-Aql said in an article entitled “The Three-Semesters System and Mass Absence” published by Okaz newspaper: The competent authorities in the Kingdom approved the three-semester system for the next academic year, and there was controversy and societal discussion about its abolition and return to the previous two-semester system.

The writer added: But it seems that the Ministry of Education has objective reasons that make it continue with the three-semester system, and it is preferable that the Ministry published documented statistics and results that prove the contribution of this new system to raising the level of education in the Kingdom and is in line with the changes that our country is going through at many levels. Education and investment in it is the basis for the success of multiple vision programs.


And he continued: Some may suggest that the results of the experiment need years to know and measure them accurately, and this is true to some extent, but we want logical reasons for changing from the previous regime to this regime, so that some repeat in media platforms and in councils and discussions that the reason for change has nothing to do with the educational process and has Relationship to other government causes and programs.

And the journalist continued: It is certain that the Ministry of Education, as it was circulated months ago, sent letters to the educational authorities to take their views on the new educational system, and the speech spread on the communication sites, and everyone believed that the three-season system was on the way to closure, and this was proven to be the opposite and approved its continuation a month ago, and some believe that it is a shock. Especially from some teachers who, by virtue of mixing with some of them and the discussions raised, often do not agree with the three-semester system.

encourage absenteeism

And he continued: The reason may be far from the educational outcomes and has to do with their school vacations, which some of them believe have been greatly reduced, and the issue of extended vacations in the new school system, which does not help much in the educational process, but rather encourages absence among students, and this information remains personal judgments without presence. Accurate official information published and available from the Ministry of Education, with the absence of indicators and governance on education outcomes and quality compared to the previous system and the objective reasons for the system’s fundamental change.

Objective reasons

And he added: It is not possible to convince the educational community of the efficacy of the new system because countries in the G20 or outside the group follow this system. We want objective reasons that prompted the ministry to change the previous system and the time required to see a real change in our education, and was education in the previous system weak and needed such the change? There is no doubt that education – especially among us – is the issue of issues in terms of its timetable, academic content, and what is related to that in terms of teachers, schools, and curricula.

And he added: It is certain that the development of our curricula that are in line with the requirements of the market and the stage is constantly evolving from the introduction of new scientific and human subjects.

WhatsApp groups

The writer cited the statements of Dr. Latifa Al-Shaalan, a member of the Shura Council, who said: She put forward some noteworthy ideas about this educational system in a bold statement to her in this newspaper, especially the issue of the percentage of absenteeism among students in our schools, which is considered precedent and dangerous, and how students and parents work to encourage each other In WhatsApp groups to urge absence at the beginning and end of the extended vacations in the school year, and whoever insists on going to his school will be alone or with a few of his or her fellow students. Indeed, the absence reached the teachers themselves due to the repeated prolonged vacations due to their travel.

He added in his article: Since the three-semester system has been approved for the next academic year, we hope that the evaluation process will continue and be more comprehensive and involve students, parents and neutral parties.

evaluation process

He explained that Dr. Al-Shaalan demanded that the evaluation process not be limited to workers in the educational field only, and it is calculated that the ministry gave public universities freedom in the academic system that it believes serves its students more by continuing with the three-semester system or returning to the two-semester system and a summer semester.

He concluded his article: I think that the space and review of the educational institutions themselves for their study and academic programs is the main point in this topic.

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