Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- A high ranking Saudi military official has revealed that the number of trainees in the kingdom’s security sector will increase to 14,000 when a further three police academies are opened, the activities of which are due to commence soon across a number of districts in the kingdom.
Major General Saad bin Abdullah al-Khelewi, assistant public security director for training affairs, told Asharq al-Awsat that the capacity of “training cities” in the country now exceeds 10,000, yet this number will increase to 14,000 students when the training cities in Aseer (south), al-Qassim (central) and Medina (west) become operative.
Major General al-Khelewi indicated that the Saudi public security department aspires to increase its capacity, yet he also pointed out that an increase in number alone is not the target; the emphasis must be placed on quality. He also indicated that the number of students would continue to rise once the extra capacity was in place.
Major General al-Kheliwi said that the public security training sector is now witnessing a quantum leap, as efforts in the last period have focused on improving knowledge. Towards this end, 18 protocol agreements were signed with Saudi universities, whereby security officers will now be present in Saudi universities, and several courses are already been offered by the public security training programmes, including “English language, computer science, crises management, strategic planning, leadership, human rights, and the art of communication.”
Al-Kheliwi revealed that “distance learning” has also been emphasised in public security sector training, through the use of technology offered by the National Centre for e-Learning, affiliated to the Ministry of Higher Education. To put this into effect, the two parties [the public security sector and the Ministry of Higher Education] have approved a plan under which several technology-reliant training programs will be provided, with their design and implementation coming under the supervision of several distinguished university cadres and qualified public security employees.
The assistant public security director for training affairs revealed that training activities have already begun in earnest, and have seen a high turnout by high and low level employees.
According to al-Kheliwi, one can be enrolled in these training programs and benefit from them anywhere in the Kingdom, placing particular emphasis on the importance of participation, discussion, and the end of unit assessments.
The objective of the “Centre for Distance Learning” is to increase the proficiency of security officers and improve their performance, through comprehensive online training programs for all employees of the public security sector at various levels. The Centre for Distance Learning also aims to spread and consolidate a culture of “electronic governance” among the public security employees. The Centre seeks to promote a sense of leadership in the various training methods it offers, and use information technology to ultimately encourage self-training and resourcefulness.