RIYADH, 22 September 2006 — A world-class model Saudi school, the first of its kind funded by the Saudi government and to follow Saudi curriculum, was officially inaugurated by Indian Minister of Human Resource Development Arjun Singh at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on Wednesday. This Saudi-owned school, to be managed by Saudi Ministry of Education, will mainly enroll sons and daughters of Saudi and Arab diplomats, besides children of Arabs working and living in India.

In the opening ceremony, Arjun was accompanied by Saudi Ambassador to India Saleh Mohammed Al-Ghamdi and the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Ali Bin Nasser Al-Wizra, who especially flew in from Riyadh to attend the event. The ceremony was also attended by Sanjay Singh, joint secretary at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Keshav Desiraju, joint secretary at the Ministry of Human Resource Development and many Arab ambassadors accredited in the Indian capital.

“The Indian government extended all necessary cooperation to the Saudi Embassy and it facilitated the clearance from concerned authorities to set up the school,” said Al-Ghamdi in a telephonic interview from New Delhi yesterday. He said that “the opening of the school reflected the willingness of two countries to make concerted efforts to boost the development of ties further and take it to a new high.”

Arjun, in his speech, expressed happiness on being the guest of honor at the inaugural ceremony. He said “the Saudi school will be another link in our bilateral relation and predicted that the relations between the two friendly countries will be further strengthened in days to come.”

In an apparent reference to the recent visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to India, Arjun said that New Delhi and Riyadh had shown remarkable understanding and identical approaches on important regional and international issues that include a shared vision of world peace, stability and justice.

After the ceremony, the Indian minister took a tour of the school with Al-Ghamdi and Al-Wizra. Asked about the details of the school project, Al-Ghamdi said that “the opening of this new school was a symbol of fast-growing bilateral relationship and a result of concerted efforts made by the New Delhi-based Saudi embassy over the past few years with a view to meeting the educational needs of the children of embassy’s staff members as well as other Arab missions in New Delhi.”

The ambassador, in his welcome address on this occasion, thanked Arjun for sparing his precious time to grace the opening ceremony and said that “his presence reflected the depth and warmth of bilateral relations between the two countries.” It is expected that between 80 to 100 students will join the school this year. The school faculty will mostly consist of Saudi teachers deputed by the Saudi Ministry of Education. Non-Saudi teachers including Arab and Indian nationals may also be appointed for some subjects.

The Saudi ambassador will be the head of the managing body of the school. Al-Ghamdi said that the school will indeed be a model school equipped with up-to-date educational facilities for both boys and girls and will provide education starting from K.G. up to secondary level. Saudi Arabia and India have forged very close relations following the visit of King Abdullah to India early this year. More than 1.5 million Indians have been working and living in the Kingdom.

Add Comment