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07-09-21 Events

Society

Going back to school in 2021: hope after the storm

This week, students from many countries in the world had to go back to school. Yet, in France, Saudi Arabia, and everywhere else, this year’s going back to school day set the tone for a normal school year, hopefully without too much Covid-19, after one and a half years of a hindered schooling pattern.

Finding a stimulating student life again

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the younger generation all across the world saw its school calendar going upside down: following classes through online teaching, less social life and extra-curricular gatherings, modified or even canceled exams… Conditions were far from ideal for them to fully enjoy it.

However, with the first day of school, which took place on Sunday 29th August in Saudi Arabia, and the very next day in France, a common objective was set: trying to make everything go back to normal. Everything is done for it to succeed at least. France plans for a 100% in-classroom rate and Saudi Arabia, after one-and-a-half years of fully online classes, intends to do the same. A way of gaining back a suitable rhythm of life to dedicate to studies.

New perspectives for the future

The world pandemic has been an opportunity to reflect on the other challenges that were to face for this going-back-to-school week. The international aspect of youth’s studies was one of them, as being very important when following online classes or conferences but also to get a job later on. In Saudi Arabia, degrees are delivered more and more in both Arabic and English, to broaden students’ horizons but also to back them up with even more skills to enter the job market. If they want to work in an international organization, for example, the English language will be a selection criterion. 

Therefore, exchange years are highly encouraged. This is already the case in France since 1986, the year that the Erasmus program was launched, and in 2020 even with the pandemic French universities managed to send over 100 000 students abroad. Not many are spending the year in Saudi Arabia but with the progressive opening of the country and its measures implemented towards its youth, chances are this is about to change soon.

An increase in students, in diplomas, in employability

Change is also to be seen in terms of access to better education and succeeding in the path students chose. In only 5 years, a real difference was noticed in the Kingdom regarding the number of new graduates that did immediately find a job after school. The students from the Law Department at Prince Sultan’s University (Riyad) are even the ones that have the highest employment rate after university. Since 2006, this department is also open to female students, and this is proof that greater inclusivity is encouraged by Saudi Arabia in terms of equality and education. Today, they are actually more numerous than their male students classmates.

In France, even though the employment rate has decreased in 2021 for over-graduated students, mostly because of the economic situation that followed the pandemic, it remains at 75%. This shows that giving a chance to its youth to access better and higher education levels prepares them for their professional life and gives them perspective for the future.

Studying and succeeding deserve to be rewarded and encouraged. In France and in Saudi Arabia, Generation 2030 wishes young people a wonderful academic year.

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