The number of private school places in the Gulf is set to double over the next five years as education providers cater for a growing population in the region and parents seek higher teaching standards for their offspring.
That’s according to consultants Booz & Co. who estimate the number of school places in the Gulf to grow from 2 million in 2012 to 4 million before 2020, driven by increased demand in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Currently, Booz estimates that 25% of students in the region are in private school, yet that proportion will jump to 40% in 2020.
The reason, Booz believes, is four-fold. Firstly, the population in the region is set to increase while also getting younger. So there will be more parents, and they’ll have more kids.
What’s more, in countries like Saudi Arabia the middle class and its wealth is growing, enabling more parents to be able to afford private education. Meanwhile, Booz says those parents are also becoming aware that private school education teaches students a better grasp of English, thus improving higher education and job prospects.
Finally, restrictions in Saudi Arabia that have previously made it difficult for Saudi nationals to attend internationally-run private schools are starting to ease, opening up a large untapped market, Booz says. Government support for the sector has increased, fuelling school operators to set up schools.
Source - WSJ
This is great news for teachers as there will, in turn, be increased demand for international teaching staff for the growing number of school places.
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