By Asif Anwar Alig
Bunch of ideas translate into towering initiatives which Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) proliferates throughout with number of initiations. Educational boom already witnesses in this region. Insightful changes transform this country since a century now. This promulgation was vivid in 1932 while modern Kingdom incepted.
New leaps of KSA in the last few decades concentrated on the evaluation of its economic and political role in the Gulf region. KSA emerged from the rugs to turn into one of the nineteenth largest economies in the world in the present scenario. Its pivotal role in political and social mobilization through modest advocacy especially in dealing with various issues enlightens others to follow it.
With the discovery of extensive oil reserves in its Eastern Province, KSA has been taking keen interest in several developmental initiatives. It added newer inputs in the already transforming socio economic progresses to assure economy sustains with thriving lead. Five-year development plans are in practice since 1970s. Need was also felt by the Governor of the Eastern Province, HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz to guide an educational movement. The Province welcomed modern infrastructure for diversified economic transformation.
Inception of Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) on October 08, 2008 in the Eastern Province was an endeavor to translate a vision of the Governor into reality. Rarely could it be thought to make best use of long spurt of desert that is now a rendezvous for youngsters getting educated. The urge of youths to attain higher education is fulfilled, and PMU mission “making history…building leaders” inspires many. Overall encouragement to PMU is supportive to that vision.
A cursory look on the cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) of KSA in three decades (from 1970s to 1997) make one gasp in utter surprise how it could be 544.82 billion Saudi riyals (145.28 billion U.S. dollars) which is beyond the imagination of any third world country. Socio-economic progress of KSA illustrates the educational resurgence. Most advanced educational systems of the world are practiced in all universities here. PMU itself incorporated North American education model in its academic curricula.
PMU could never have emerged so speedily if local philanthropic groups couldn’t contribute in its formation. Dedicated to its region, while maintaining international academic standard, PMU balances excellent university tradition groomed under the Saudi cultural amalgamation. The young generation – males and females achieve world class education in the Male and Female campuses of PMU.
Journey of eight decades brought many transformations in KSA. Go back to an era when modern Kingdom had still not feasted preemptive role, and you feel the then pitiful educational condition due to lack of sufficient means which compelled masses to peruse individual instructors at religious schools. Hardly was any scope for the pursuance of higher education in that period. Urban population could study but the rural ones had no resource at all.
Drastic reformation occurred thereafter. Today KSA houses many institutions of repute recognized worldwide. State-of-the-art educational system of such institutions attracts new generations. Take for example the initiative by PMU to globalize Saudi vision. Its unstoppable progresses with international exposure, academic excellence and variegated cultures merging into one for unique blend of faculties and staffs from all corners of world develop new civilization.
The government facilitates educational scholarship to all Saudi students to ensure nobody remains illiterate. This attempt inspired more than 4.5 million youngsters to achieve goals. Promoting education is main prerequisite of development agenda in KSA after its economy boomed. Long term plans were formulated in 1975 when Ministry of Higher Education was designed. They were bigger leaps that improved efficiency in educational system. Recent attempt of such kind is the initiative by HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Bin Abdulaziz on whose name emerging university, PMU is established.
Challenges have been coped up and today more than 200,000 Saudi youngsters pursue higher studies in various institutes. Typical images have broken down and the universities encourage girls to fulfill their ambitions through attaining higher education. PMU has separate Female Campus for girl students. Transmission of rich Arab heritage through educational renaissance would definitely bring a new dawn.