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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Factors to consider when selecting a school for children in Saudi Arabia

Future of your children depends upon the initial school you select for them. Selecting the right school for your child can be extremely tricky in Saudi Arabia, much like in any other part of the world. Parents need to consider the different factors and carefully decide which ones are more important to them before making the final choice. The most common factors that will make school selection simpler for you are as follows:



Cost
This is obviously one of the main factors. Once you have decided how much you are willing to spend on your child's education, you will be able to narrow down your list of schools. There is considerable difference between the cost of private and public schools in KSA. However, it is important to know that even with the additional cost, private school quality of education is not substantially better.



Location
It is important to consider how far the school is from your residence. Are you willing to go a considerable distance everyday to pick and drop your child? More importantly, do you have private transport or will you be relying on the services of public transport? Use of school buses and cabs for this purpose is fairly common in Saudi Arabia. Hence knowing your preference of distance will automatically help you filter out some schools from your list.



Class sizes and structure
You may prefer to have smaller classrooms where your children can get individual attention or want your child to be part of large classroom to gain exposure and learn from other students. Hence, the teacher to student ratio of schools can be a deciding factor.



The other students
You may want a school with children from multiple ethnicities and socio-economic background or prefer to send your child to a school where the ratio of locals (Saudis) is high.



Scope for extracurricular activities
This is an important concern for people looking for a well rounded education. You will want to opt for a school which offers extracurricular activities such as sports, debate, art etc apart from the normal curriculum.

Physical facilities 
Knowing about how well-equipped a school is in terms of its physical facilities can also be an important factor. Do they have updated libraries, science laboratories and IT equipment? Is there sufficient playground space available for sports activities? Do they frequently arrange contests and competitions besides the normal curriculum for character development? Such things will enable you to determine if the fees they are charging is justified.

Standard of education
You can determine the quality of education by checking the past records of the school in academics. O-level grades of the outgoing batches give a good reflection of the school's performance.

Faculty of the School
The faculty can also be checked to judge the quality of education. A problem frequently noticed in Saudi schools is lack of good teachers. Therefore, you should inquire about teachers of a particular school from parents of already enrolled students to get a fair idea about their performance.  Hope this helps. Good luck with your school selection. Cheers!

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