Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday night launched a major programme to shake up education, teach the values of global citizenship and adapt the kingdom to a changing world.
The Human Capability Development Programme (HCDP) is part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 reform programme that aims to change everything from how people live and work to how they access health care and interact with the government.
The HCDP goal is to change education from nursery level to university and lifelong learning with 89 initiatives aimed at achieving 16 strategic objectives included in the Vision 2030, state media reported.
It is based on three pillars – to develop a resilient and strong educational base; prepare for the future labour market locally and globally; and provide lifelong learning opportunities.
The crown prince said he hopes the HCDP will give Saudis the skills needed to compete globally in the 21st century, including creative thinking, data analysis, technical capabilities as well as emotional and social skills.
"Because of my confidence in every citizen's capabilities, this programme has been developed to meet the needs and aspirations of all segments of society, beginning from childhood, all the way through universities, colleges, technical and vocational institutes, and the labour market,” Prince Mohammed said.
“The goal [is] preparing citizens for the future, as this contributes to building a solid economy based on skills and knowledge with human capital at its core."
He also said he hopes the programme will instil the values of moderation and tolerance, determination and perseverance, discipline and expertise in Saudi citizens.
"The Human Capability Development Programme represents a national strategy to enhance the competitiveness of national human capabilities locally and globally to be ready for the current and future labour market with capabilities and ambitions that compete with the world,” Prince Mohammed said.
“That is through instilling and promoting values, developing basic and future skills, and developing knowledge.”
Through partnerships with the private and non-profit sectors, the kingdom aims to achieve a set of specific benchmarks in the coming years.
These include boosting nursery enrolment from 23 per cent currently to more than 90 per cent and getting two Saudi universities into the global 100 rankings by 2030.
The kingdom is keen to help its citizens develop "a passion for knowledge, pride in values, success at work, leadership and competition locally and globally, and continuous development of their skills and capabilities", state media reported.