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Cairo: Teachers working in private schools in Saudi Arabia must hold a valid teaching licence, according to new rules.

Foreign schools operating in Saudi Arabia will also be obligated to teach the kingdom’s history and geography as part of new rules to regulate work of private teaching institutions, a Saudi newspaper has unveiled.

These schools will also be required to teach national identity subjects to Saudi students, Okaz reported.

The requirements are part of private school regulations set by the education sector in the kingdom aiming to regulate the engagement of the private sector and non-profit sector in providing education series, the paper said.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to stress identity affiliation as it has increasingly opened up to the outside world and introduced massive socio-economic changes.

The regulations allow the applicant for obtaining the licence to be a Saudi or foreign investor or in partnership between them, according to Okaz.

The applicant should not have been previously received a disciplinary verdict excluding him/her from the government service or a private school. If the applicant to obtain the licence is non-Saudi, he/she should have a licence from the Investment Ministry and previous experience in education services.

The rules also incorporate various penalties for violations including school closure or licence revocation.

The infringements include violation of related stipulations, executive rules, and offences to Islam, the kingdom, its leadership, public figures, society’s intellectual security or health and safety requirements.

The situation of students enrolled at the violating school during the academic year will be taken into consideration, the report said.

Penalties can be appealed within one month of issuance. It is not clear yet when the new regulations will take effect.