Foreign firm hired to train female driving instructors

December 10, 2017

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — The National Committee of Driving Schools has contracted a specialized foreign company to train Saudi women to work as instructors at driving schools across the Kingdom, Al-Watan newspaper reported on Sunday.

The committee met with representatives of the company last week in Dubai to discuss a curriculum that conforms to Saudi traffic laws and international driving standards. The curriculum will be tailored to educate Saudi women trainers on road safety and security. Future Saudi women driving instructors will take a semester-long course to qualify as instructors.

The committee already opened four driving schools on four women campuses.

Many Saudi women welcomed the committee's move. Activist Uhoud Al-Sulaiman said she supported the committee’s decision to train women to become driving instructors before opening driving schools for them.

“We have to start driving with full knowledge of road safety regulations. With official steps to encourage women to become driving instructors, Saudi women will definitely improve the level of safety on the Kingdom's roads,” said Al-Sulaiman.

Maha Aboud said she hoped that the new curriculum would include training for people with special needs.

“The driving schools in Dubai do have training programs for people with special needs. They too have the right to drive,” said Aboud.

The Ministry of Education and the Public Security Directorate organized a workshop on Friday to educate female teachers and supervisors under the ministry on road safety.

Deputy Minister for Girls Education Haya Awad said the workshop was attended by Deputy Minister of Education Abdulrahman Al-Asmi, Director General of Traffic Col. Mohammad Al-Basami and several women heads of public schools and female employees of the ministry.

“The workshop is meant to educate 70 percent of women working under the ministry on road safety and traffic regulations. It is a positive initiative by the ministry and the Traffic Directorate. Women will start driving soon and I am proud to have an institution that supports women and help them take safe measures when they hit the roads,” said Awad.

She said her ministry would launch a safe driving initiative by holding a series of workshops all over the Kingdom to educate female employees.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to prepare its employees for upcoming changes that will allow women to drive,” said Awad.

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