Middle East & North Africa
Promoting Inclusivity in Teacher Training in the Arabian Peninsula
ICRD has worked to foster religious tolerance among teachers and incorporate these concepts into teacher training programs in Saudi Arabia. ICRD has developed an interactive series of trainings and workshops on themes of human rights, tolerance, critical thinking inclusiveness, religious literacy, intercultural communications, curriculum design, and conflict resolution. ICRD will pilot test the training with a group of 25-50 Saudi teachers before working with the Saudi Ministry of Education to integrate these themes into current and future teacher training programs within the Kingdom. ICRD seeks to enhance religious literacy and inclusivity in education to better prepare an emerging generation of Saudi leaders to operate in a global landscape. The FY19 project is supported by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the United States Department of State. Secured funds will be utilized and additional funds are being sought to advance the program in FY20 – 22.
Strengthening Education and Teacher Training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ICRD has developed a training program for public school teachers in Saudi Arabia, focusing on themes such as Islam and globalization, understanding radicalization, religious literacy, and preventing and countering violent extremism. ICRD’s team of experts developed a training manual that is tailored to the Saudi context, and is preparing to train Saudi public-school teachers so they may integrate these themes into their pedagogy. The methodology will focus on Training of Trainers (ToT) so Saudi teachers and education professionals may integrate the teacher training content into Saudi education institutions or programs. ICRD also will assist teachers in securing support for follow-on projects to sustain the project’s impact. This project aims to impact hundreds of thousands of Saudi students and help to advance P/CVE efforts by supporting the education sector in the Kingdom. In addition to the teacher training, ICRD will continue the monitoring of Saudi school textbooks for intolerant and violent content. Furthermore, ICRD will review Saudi national policies and programs related to P/CVE strategies and programs in the Kingdom, specifically as they relate to education and teacher training. ICRD will produce a final report with recommendations to inform US and Saudi policymakers about the progress in the Saudi education sector. The FY19 project was supported by the Bureau of Counterterrorism at the United States Department of State. Secured funds will be utilized and additional funds are being sought to advance the program in FY20 – 22.
Education Reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In 2011, ICRD launched a program to monitor and support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s effort to remove inflammatory content from its national education curriculum. ICRD’s initial review of the 2012 curriculum was the most comprehensive evaluation conducted at that time and established a baseline to measure future improvements. ICRD’s findings confirmed that the Kingdom had made laudable progress toward reform, but much remained to be done to fully complete the task. These were presented in a House Subcommittee Hearing, linked here.
Between 2018 – 2019, ICRD advanced a second review of the high school curriculum to assess the reforms made to the textbook content thus far and to produce real-time recommendations for key Saudi, US, and global policymakers and experts regarding the on-going reform efforts in the Kingdom. Moreover, ICRD has assessed the social and religious impact of Saudi textbooks in some selected countries of strategic concern (Spain, Kenya, Indonesia, and Ethiopia) and supported the retrieval or replacement of older textbooks containing inflammatory content. The FY19 project was supported by the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the United States Department of State. Secured funds will be utilized and additional funds are being sought to advance the program in FY20 – 22.