Tatweer Policy Enactment
The Tatweer education reforms, officially known as King Abdullah Public Education Development Project were made to improve the education country in Saudi Arabia. The primary goal was to enhance the teaching and learning of generations projected to contribute positively to the economic growth of the country. Some of the key issues that have been addressed in the reforms include globalization, power, and divergence. The background of the program dates back in 2007 when the Ministry of Education enacted an education policy intending to enhance literary levels at the public schools. The term Tatweer was adopted because it literary means to develop, which was the primary objective of the government towards the quality of education in the country. The achievement of the goal was through employing new teacher development programs, implementation of new technologies in the learning environment, and the creation of higher teacher autonomy in public schools. The education reforms have been influential in ensuring that the education system has greatly improved in terms of quality and content (Tayan, 2017). However, it has elicited some questions concerning its enactment, particularly because most of the professionals view it as market-driven and believe that it will have a significant impact on the profession.
Globalization has a profound influence on the Saudi education system. In this regard, Tatweer Schools are some of the results of the interaction between the country and other nations. The Tatweer Schools are expected to create a culture where teachers and learners improve their performance and contribute positivity to the country and society. However, some professionals have felt that the system is not efficient in the identification of the needs of Saudi society because it has focused on international aspects of development. The primary concern is that the level of innovativeness in the country does not reflect on the positive contributions expected from the system. Therefore, there is the issue of policy enaction and how it affects all stakeholders including teachers, students, and society.
The Tatweer Schools
The Tatweer Schools have noted for their enhanced quality of education in Saudi Arabia. A notable benefit is that it has decentralized the education system from the traditional centralized education in the country. Moreover, the education shifts focus from the individual to the group learning, which has been touted to be very successful in many countries. Primarily, the primary goal was to ensure that the country’s education system could produce generations of the labour force that could have a positive impact on society. The system has also been instrumental in opening up the closes, which has ensured that there is closer collaboration with the rest of the society (Alyami, 2014). On this note, the policy has been influential in improving the quality of education in the country.
One of the factors that make the enactment of the policy interesting is that most of the educators do not feel that the policy was done concerning the context of Saudi Arabia. In this regard, it is essential to note that some of the teachers feel that the achievements of the students have not increased and there are some cases where retrogression has been noted. Furthermore, aboutabout the roots of the policy, some educators have felt that international pressure from factors such as globalization waswas prioritized but not the national need for education. On this note, the education professionals have argued that the primary motivation of introducing and enacting the policy was because of globalization and the country becoming a member of World Trade Organization (WTO), which mean that the government was keen in ensuring that the country adopted foreign-influenced education system without focusing on the content and the needs of the locals (Tayan, 2017).
The policy is an attempt to provide solutions to the existing problems and persuade people to a particular cause that delineate action. Policy is a process that combines various ideas and principles through a practice that selects goals, values, and resources that will improve the current state of affairs. According to Ball (2012), policy does not limit itself to telling people what they should do but also creates opportunities of further improvement. Educators should resist or change a policy that may undermine the educational possibilities that they value (Alenezi, 2017). Concerning the Tatweer Schools, the enactment of the policy has undermined some of the policies that the education sector values. Precisely, the teachers should not accept the policy simply because its present by dominant policy ideas, recommendations, and text by the government (Meemar, 2014). Therefore, a policy should not be accepted at its face value if there are some room challenging, nuancing, and reformulating it to have a better outcome to the stakeholders.
Tatweer Schools Policy Enactment
The roots of Tatweer can be traced back to several events. One of the notable events is the increased challenges in the Saudi education system since it was unable to develop a dynamic learned society that could accelerate the economic growth of the country. This is a regional context because the country was usually criticized alongside the MENA region for its lack of an education system that could provide the ideal human resources for a thriving economy (Alghamdi & Higgins, 2015). The countries were registering a significant population growth but the economic performance was not impressive, which project that there would be a surge in unemployment. Other notable influencers of the policy include globalization, relationship with the United States particularly after the 9/11 attacks, and entry into the WTO membership (Fallata, 2016). Noteworthy, the United States influence was furthered after the attacks because the government of Saudi Arabia was keen to appease the country noting that the terrorists were Saudis. In this regard, the country had to adopt some policies as advised by the US including the education system reforms.
Looking from the perspective of the teaching professionals, it is noteworthy that there are some shortcomings in the way the policy was implemented. One of the issues that should be addressed if there was consultation among all interested parties. The professionals are essential in the delivery of high-quality education (Meemar, 2018). However, when they are sidelined, it means that they are not likely to have their input considered, which is one of the ways that poor enactment manifests itself. The government focused on external factors with the primary goal of improving the economy and foreign affairs. However, the society should also benefit from the policy and without ideal involvement of the concerned parties, the contribution of critical stakeholders is not put into consideration (Elyas & Al-Ghamdi, 2018). Therefore, the involvement of teachers in the enactment of the policy would have led to better outcomes than what is being achieved currently.
Significance of the Study
The study is essential in highlighting the ideal means of enacting policies. The education system of a country is a sensitive sector because of its implications to various elements of the nation including society, economy, and culture. Therefore, the enactment should ensure that all critical stakeholders are consulted before a policy is implemented (Alyami & Floyd, 2019). The failure to consider the input of some stakeholder could have a negative impact on the quality and success of the education system in the country.
- What are the key attributes of the Tartweer Schools that make them unique from the education system before the implementation of the policy?
- Why are the education professionals not content with the policy enactment?
- Can the influence of foreigners impact the quality of local education and inhibit the quality and success of the system?
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Alghamdi, A., & Higgins, S. (2015). Investigating how teachers in primary schools in Saudi Arabia were trained to use interactive whiteboards and what their training needs were. International Journal of Technical Research and Applications, Special Issue, 30, 1-10.
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Alyami, R., & Floyd, A. (2019). Female School Leaders’ Perceptions and Experiences of Decentralisation and Distributed Leadership in the Tatweer System in Saudi Arabia. Education Sciences, 9(1), 25.
Ball, S. J. (2012). Politics and policy making in education: Explorations in sociology. Routledge.
Elyas, T., & Al-Ghamdi, A. A. (2018). A critical “positivist” analysis of Tatweer policy in Saudi Arabia. In Cross-Nationally Comparative, Evidence-Based Educational Policymaking and Reform. Emerald Publishing Limited.
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Meemar, S. S. (2014). Tatweer School Principals’ Perceptions of New Authorities Grantedin the lnitial Steps of Decentralization.
Meemar, S. S. (2018). Educational Decentralization Efforts in a Centralized Country: Saudi Tatweer Principals’ Perceptions of Their New Authorities. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 13(2), 2.
Tayan, B. M. (2017). The Saudi Tatweer Education Reforms: Implications of Neoliberal Thought to Saudi Education Policy. International Education Studies, 10(5), 61-71.