Innovations set to make an impact in Saudi Arabian schools

 “Ana fakhur fikum (أنا فخورة فيكم),” meaning, ‘I am proud of you’ in Arabic were the parting words, Fiona Wiebusch, Senior Teacher – Teacher Training, shared with participants of the Building Leadership for Change through School Immersion (BLCSI) program at the commencement of their Capstone Day presentations on Monday 10 February, 2020.

 Dr Gus Olwan & Mr Abdullah Al-Maqbel from SACM with ICTE Director Mr Julian Wilson

The University of Queensland’s Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE) was proud to partner with the Ministry of Education – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) to deliver this year’s teacher professional development program, now in its third year.

At the Capstone Day, 22 participants presented ideas and innovations garnered through their engagement with Queensland schools during an intensive immersion program, led by ICTE in collaboration with Education Queensland International (EQI). 

Dr Hesham Khadawari Cultural Attache'

Participants’ presentations described their action plan for educational reform and innovation in response to a challenge identified in their own school setting in Saudi Arabia. Topics included implementing directed reading programs, teaching phonics, employing task-based approaches, maximising assessment for learning and more (access full abstracts and posters here).

“Our Saudi teaching colleagues have worked incredibly hard over the last year. We have learnt a lot from each other and the presentations today were very inspiring,” Ms Wiebusch said.

The program aims to develop the leadership and intercultural capacity of Saudi education professionals through a university-guided immersion in Queensland schools, with the overarching objective of developing strong English language skills and enhanced awareness and practice in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL). Feedback from participants emphasised the positive impact that their engagement in the program would have on their future careers.

 BLCSI Teachers & male participants

“Thanks to The University of Queensland and the Ministry of Education, this program has really helped to improve my level of English and knowledge of teaching as well. Having this experience has increased my knowledge and abilities in classrooms and this experience will encourage me to help our colleagues back home to apply these new strategies and techniques.”  Jufayn Alsaadi, BLCSI participant.

“We are indeed proud of our participants' achievements. It’s not easy engaging in full-time study while balancing family life in Australia,” said Ms Philippa Coleman, Academic Manager for Teacher Training. “We are excited to see what participants achieve when they return to their own schools.”

Last updated:
21 February 2020