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Profile: Deputy Education Minister Khalid al-Sabti | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat-Among the new faces appointed by King Abdullah Bin-Abdulaziz, the custodian of the two holy shrines last month is that of Dr Khalid Bin-Abdullah al-Sabti, the new deputy education minister for boys, is the least known to the Saudi people. However, he is well known to media circles from his work as secretary general of the Foundation of King Abdulaziz and His Companions for Talent and Innovation. Not only is the new deputy minister renowned for his gentle manners and morals, his personality consists of several important traits. He believes that it is important to give young cadres leading roles and -as those who have worked with him tell Asharq Al-Awsat -he is very interested in details and is very practical. Finally, he is a Saudi innovator before anything else.

Dr Al-Sabti’s appointment to an important education post is an indication to observers that the Saudi government, headed by the Saudi monarch, is determined to build a Saudi society founded on knowledge where education, innovation, and interest in the talented and creativity are paramount so that future generations would embrace scientific development that would reflect on economic development. The reason for taking this approach is due to the fact that Dr Al-Sabti is one of those that envisioned the strategic vision of Saudi society about three years ago. In 2004, the custodian of the two holy shrines awarded Dr Khalid al-Sabti the King Abdulaziz Order First Class for distinguishing himself in the development of the scientific movement and scientific research in the country.

Khalid al-Sabti graduated with a Masters degree and a PhD in computer sciences from Syracuse University in the United States. In 1991, he was awarded a BA degree in computer sciences from the King Saud University in the capital Riyadh. In addition to his work in the Foundation of King Abdulaziz and His Companions for Talent and Innovation, Dr Al-Sabti is a member of more than 26 bodies in the public and private sectors. He is also a researcher in several universities. In 1996, Dr Khalid al-Sabti was a researcher in “text mining and knowledge representation” at T.J. Watson Research and IBM in New York State in the United States. In 1994, he was a systems engineer in the Niagara Mohawk Company in New York in 1994. It is to be noted that Dr Al-Sabti has recently occupied several positions in the government. In 2005, he was the director of the national plan on information technology of the Saudi Computers Society. He was also the chairman of the steering committee preparing for the executive plan to implement government transactions electronically (e-government) in the kingdom.

Dr Khalid Bin-Abdullah al-Sabti, the deputy minister of education for boys in Saudi Arabia, emphasized that the coming stage will witness more concentration on the training and upgrading of teachers. This aspect is part of King Abdullah’s plans to develop education in the country. Dr Al-Sabti explained that teachers are the basis of any educational process and they are partners of the ministry in success. After being appointed to his new post, Al-Sabti told Asharq Al-Awsat that the main focus in the process of education in the country will be turning society into a society of knowledge. He said: “We shall continue to build on the foundations that were laid by our former ministers and colleagues. We shall also work as a team to learn about the situation, put forward priorities, and overcome obstacles”.