Education is free at all levels, but it is not compulsory
to attend school. About. 60% of children and young people
receive formal education. Different educational systems
operate side by side, the public school has about half the
pupils. Religious and other private schools follow
essentially the same scheme as the public schools. It is
forbidden for girls and boys to be taught together, and
there are separate educational systems for boys and girls.
The primary school is 6 years old from the children are 6
years old, followed by 3-year secondary school and 3-year
high school. The country has 8 universities, which are open
to both genders, although the teaching takes place
separately for men and women. Arabic is the language of
instruction in primary and secondary school. Higher
education is taught in Arabic or English. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Saudi Arabia.
According to UNESCO, approx. 22% (2002) of the adult
population are illiterate.
2003 The US "war on terror" triggers a wave of terror
The US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 had disastrous
consequences for the equilibrium around the Persian Gulf and
led to rapid growth in the number of suicide attacks in Iraq
and Saudi Arabia. In May 2003, a series of suicide attacks
killed 30 people in a residential area for foreigners in the
capital Riyadh. Another suicide attack in November cost 17
lives. The attacks continued in 2004, and in April, the
first attack so far was directed at a public building when a
car bomb was detonated in front of the Security Service
headquarters. A month later, in the port city of Yanboa,
there was an exchange of gunfire between Saudi security
forces and people identified as terrorists.
In May 2003, the United States officially announced that
all North American bases in Saudi Arabia would be closed and
crew and equipment transferred to Qatar. It was the
superpower's punishment for Saudi Arabia's unwillingness to
take part in the assault on Iraq.
In late 2003, the authorities announced that elections
would be held for the first time in the country's history.
There would be municipal elections, and according to. they
would aim for the official comunique: "to increase citizen
participation in local politics through strengthening local
councils". In March 2004, it was announced that women would
have the right not only to vote but also to stand as
candidates. The announcement came well enough from the Saudi
embassy in London, but at the same time emphasized that both
men and women "would have the opportunity to vote".
On May 29, 2004, three assaults took place in Riyadh,
carried out by Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda. They cost dozens -
mostly foreigners - life. The Al-Khobar oil center was
attacked, as was the local OPEC headquarters and Hotel Oasis
Resort, which most people considered to be an impassable
In June, two suspected Islamists and a policeman died
during an exchange of gunfire in Riyadh. Two other people
were injured during the gunfire that took place in al-Quds
in the eastern part of the capital. In the first weeks of
the month, Saudi security forces were exposed to a series of
attacks by suspected al-Qaeda activists. Over 80 were
That same month, King Fahd declared amnesty for people
suspected of terrorism if they surrendered to authorities by
the end of July. The comuniquet was broadcast on television
and applied to all persons who had "committed crimes with
religious motives" and all who within the following "30 days
would be accounted for by God's law".
The amnesty was decreed after al-Qaeda's leader in
Riyadh, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, was killed in a clash with
police. Acc. the Islamic law, sharia, anyone who commits
violence can receive amnesty, but then has to pay
compensation to the victim's family to avoid punishment.
Political observers were of the belief that the amnesty
offer was aimed at lower al-Qaeda members, while the
leadership team would reject it.