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Saudi Education Ministry Establishes Intellectual Awareness Units to Combat Extremism

Saudi Education Ministry Establishes Intellectual Awareness Units to Combat Extremism

Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 - 11:15
Saudi Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh, Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has announced the establishment of intellectual awareness units dedicated to reinforcing values of tolerance and moderation in the kingdom and fighting all forms of extremism.

These unites will work on spreading the values of moderation, tolerance, and coexistence, and preventing extremism and addressing its effects, and encouraging scientific and research initiatives in intellectual issues, confirmed Saudi Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh.

Al-Sheikh asserted that the ministry recognizes the importance of promoting aware and responsible citizenship at educational institutions.

He voiced the ministry’s keenness to protect the kingdom’s education institutions from any threats that undermine their reputation.

The minister also stressed that the ministry will not allow educational institutions to be used to promote extremist ideology.

Intellectual awareness units will operate according to a specific strategy and disciplined administrative governance, explained Al-Sheikh, adding that this will help the ministry achieve its goals for immunizing and protecting education in the kingdom against extremist ideology.

The units will also implement plans, programs, activities and organize events focused on promoting tolerance and moderation among Saudis.

This initiative will help in achieving the strategic goals of Saudi Arabia’s plan for national transformation, dubbed “Kingdom Vision 2030.”

Over the years, Saudi Arabia has taken several decisions aimed at eliminating the sources of any extremism in the kingdom.

In 2016 it banned about 80 controversial books from libraries and schools.

In 2020, Al-Sheikh authorized directors of his ministry across the kingdom to remove teachers over intellectual differences.

Directors of education departments across the kingdom were given the green light to immediately turn teachers with intellectual differences from schools to administrative work until final decisions are taken against them.

More so, the education ministry is working to draft curricula in critical thinking and philosophy that are centered on developing the values ​​of freedom of thought and tolerance in the kingdom.

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