by Expatguru - 04/27/2014
"This article gives an overview of schools run by Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company and gives an insight on the opportunities available for potential teachers."
Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest producer of crude oil. A large number of expatriate families work for this company. In order to cater to the educational needs of expat children, Saudi Aramco set up a one-room school in way back in 1945 which has now grown into a 3100-student facility with schools operating in Ras Tanura, Abqaiq, Udhailiah and Dhahran.
The schools follow the same curriculum as in the United States and have grades K4 through 9 with faculty members over 320. Grades 6 through 9 include a variety of subjects – Science, Math, Arts, Social Studies, French, Spanish, Arabic or Spanish. They also have exploratory courses such as Art, Music, Band, Chorus and Physical Education. Grade 9, in addition, has History, Physics and Geometry. Students are prepared in Grades 8 and 9 for continuation of further studies in International Schools in the kingdom or other boarding schools around the world.
The schools follow a standardized assessment program. While academic progress is measured from grades 3 to 9 as also writing assessment, cognitive abilities tests are carried out in Grades 3, 5 and 7. Secondary School Admission Tests are carried out in Grades 8 and 9. Each Aramco school has a guidance counsellor who is responsible for testing programs, placement services for secondary school and meeting parents and teachers for resolution of difficulties which students may have with their studies.
The academic year begins in September and ends in June with three trimesters, each of 12 weeks. In line with the Saudi Government regulations, weekdays are from Sunday through Thursday.
Saudi Aramco Schools are accredited by the Pennsylvania-based Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and comply with their Excellence by Design (ExBD) protocol. Being under the direct sponsorship of the world’s largest oil company, teaching faculty in Saudi Aramco schools are one of the best paid in the Middle East. With each class not more than 20 to 25 students, teachers working in these schools work in a congenial atmosphere.
Among the basic requirements, teachers are expected to have at least a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree, minimum of four years’ experience and a valid North American certification. Teachers who are well-versed in the Rubicon ATLAS Curriculum System and ‘Understanding by Model’ design are most preferred. All teachers are recruited after a stringent screening process and are among the best in their respective fields.
The facilities offered for the faculty are comparable to some of the best available in the world. There are five gated communities with the one in Dhahran alone having a population of over 10,000. The main community houses a health center, library, theater, commissary and ATMs. Also available are swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, ball parks, bowling alleys, skateboard parks and a cricket pitch.
Experienced and qualified teachers are always sought after in Saudi Aramco Schools and those who meet the requirements can look forward to a very rewarding career.