The Saudi Minister of Education on 21st Century Education
SAUDI MINISTER OF EDUCATION WEIGHS IN ON 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
Mohammed Rasheed notes importance of proper teacher training programs
WASHINGTON, DC -- In an exclusive exchange with The Council for Global Education, Saudi Minister of Education Mohammed Rasheed today shared his views on 21st century education with the nation's leading group working on issues of character and values development in the classroom.
Noting that "I believe ... in the tremendous role education can have on the lives of individuals and nations," Minister Rasheed also expressed his opinion that "behind every great nation there is a great system of education."
"We are honored to have Minister Rasheed share his knowledge and expertise in the field of education with CGE members and friends," said the organization's founder, Dr. Sunita Gandhi. "We can all rest assured that the children of Saudi Arabia are in the best possible care under his leadership."
When asked what role education can play in preventing incidents such as the one in Kosovo, where today's soldiers were yesterday's school children, Minister Rasheed noted that "I believe that by teaching peace . . . we can help prevent a lot of evil in the world. Children need to be taught how to accept others and live with them, peacefully, regardless of visible or imagined differences. When a school puts that lesson into practice within its own curriculum and activities, the lesson is internalized and helps to immunize children against communal hatred."
The Minister also noted, though, that well prepared teachers are the answer to many of the core problems facing education today. "The single most important factor in improving schools and bringing them into the 21st century is proper training of new teachers and retaining of on-the-job teachers."
"We are heartened by the Minister's remarks regarding proper teacher training, and his determination to see that all Saudi educators receive the best possible preparation for the classroom," said Dr. Gandhi. "The Council is doing our part in the U.S. through a comprehensive teacher training program, being held this October, which will prepare teachers to develop values and character within the total classroom environment. Minister Rasheed's encouragement of these endeavors puts renewed emphasis on the urgency of this program," she concluded.
Minister Rasheed also weighed in on such topics as his inspiration as a child, his guiding principles as a world leader in educational policy, his role models, influences and mentors, and what he believes to be his greatest achievements in education.
The Minister's remarks are the first in a series of dialogues being conducted by The Council for Global Education with Ministers of Education from across the world. Click here for a complete transcript of Minister Rasheed's remarks.
The Council for Global Education is dedicated to the development of a new model of education for the child entering the 21st century. CGE facilitates the creation and implementation of curriculum, programs and policies that prepare children for success in the emerging global community. CGE envisions a future where values such as peace, co-existence, respect and responsibility are intricately integrated into the educational environment. We provide tools, teacher training, resources and guidance for developing a framework for curricula based on the four VUES of education: Universal Values, Global Understanding, Excellence in All Things, and Service to Humanity. In addition, CGE encourages and facilitates networking opportunities and ongoing dialogues through affiliate organizations and individuals, working to ensure that educators are more than teachers, and serve as facilitators for learning and role models for students.
Minister Rasheed's remarks are part of an ongoing dialogue with Ministers of Education throughout the world. Remarks from additional Ministers will be releases over the next several months, leading up to the Education Stakeholders' Roundtable on Redefining Priorities in Education for the 21st Century, being held October 1st through 6th in San Francisco, in conjunction with The State of the World Forum. The roundtable's list of participants includes Ministers of Education from Macedonia, India and Canada, among others.