What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Saudi Arabian International School or Al Hada International School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Most children live on the compound where the school is located and walk up the hill to the school grounds. Students who live in other areas of the city take one of two buses to the school.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities at the school are severely lacking. In the actual school building, there are only 6 classrooms. The rest of the classes (one section of grades 2-5, middle school social studies, math, science, English, Arabic, and French) are in leaky, stinky, small, cramped, poorly heated and cooled portable trailers.
The school building has only 2 working toilets for each boys and girls, serving over 350 students. The ceiling leaks when it rains, baboons regularly invade school grounds, scavaging for food. The play area is located in the asphalt/cement covered entrance to the school, is too small for adequate PE or recess activities, and is always shared between 2-3 classes at a time. There have been numerous accidents in the unsafe play area ranging from scraped elbows and knees to a 3rd grade student splitting open her chin.
There are no extra-curricular activities available because the administrative team has failed to organize any.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
This school makes no efforts to help children transition from the curriculum(s) of students' home countries to the new curriculum. My students are studying for their Egyptian exams, and the school makes no effort to help my students succeed on these national tests.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There are very few social activities available for parents through the school. The school started a parent-teacher partnership two months ago and have held two meetings.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO THIS SCHOOL.
In addition to the terrible facilities at the school, my child's class does not have enough books for each student to have their own copy, the books are all severely out-of-date (the most recent edition my child has was published in the year 2000). I have reported problems with the books, teachers abusing students, and the principal failing to do her job, and all my complaints have been met with dismissal and no action.
I also find the school website to be completely inaccurate and full of lies. They claim that students use computers in a computer lab. My students haven't touched a computer at school all year. Their teacher only has a whiteboard and markers as classroom teaching materials. Part of my students' supply list was to bring reams of printer paper, so that their teacher can make copies for science and math homework. There are also claims of a great PE program. My students play unstructured dodgeball every day in PE, and don't have a PE teacher. This school is extremely lacking in comparison to the school my students were enrolled in in Egypt. I am not satisfied.
Women in the Kingdom: Life as an Expat Woman in Saudi Arabia
Any woman considering a move to Saudi Arabia, should really do her research, talk with other expat women in the cities where she may be living in Saudi Arabia, and, if married, discuss the positives and negatives at length with your husband.