The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Teacher Exchange Programme

Posted 09 May 2018 4:09pm

Recently Kathryn Hodson and Marama Reweti-Martin represented the IPL at The First Professional Development forum in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Marama and Kathryn facilitated a workshop unpacking Coaching and Inquiry as a Professional Learning Approach. The invitation was issued as part of the Khebrat programme which involves teachers and leaders from schools in KSA living and working in schools overseas for 12 months. IPL is hosting 16 teachers this year and they are working in a number of primary and secondary schools in Hamilton. We are very grateful for the collaboration and hope both schools and KSA participants will gain much from the experience.

We hope to host a further cohort from mid-year. These will be teachers of English as a Second Language.

In 2019 we look forward to hosting more teachers on the Khebrat Programme. If you would like to host a teacher from term two next year please get in touch with Kathryn or Gaynor Terrill and we will be happy to have a chat about the possibility.

A conversation with a Teacher from the KSA, hosted by a school in Hamilton

A Teacher from KSA, also a Father of children currently enrolled in local schools, took the time to chat with us recently. He began his work as a teacher with a Hamilton host school in term two. He spoke with Kathryn about what he is noticing as a father. The conversation was held through an interpreter at his request but his spoken English would have been perfectly adequate.

Kathryn - "What have you noticed so far that is different between New Zealand schools and the schools in Saudi?"

KSA participant - “The level of family engagement in the school - families are kept well informed about the progress of their child. Children love going to school because of the level of activity and engagement. Teaching is not focussed on the books. The school day is much longer than in KSA but children get much less homework. Teachers are more of a guide in NZ classes not just telling about the information.
As a father of two children who are in schools here in Hamilton I can see how excited they are to attend school, it was not that way in Saudi."

Kathryn - "What have you noticed so far that is the same between schools here and in Saudi?"

KSA participant - “The teachers are dedicated to their work, but it looks different in Saudi and New Zealand. In Saudi some teachers are beginning to use cooperative learning and I think that is happening even more here. Schools in both places make contact with parents, but in Saudi it is much more formal and sometimes only happens if there is an important issue; but the teachers in the school my children go to contact us for good things, we get emails, texts and even photos of our boys as they work.”