Privatization of secondary education in Saudi Arabia

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Tracing its core tenets and roots to the 1960’s the practice of privatization has over the years been seen as the best way forwards for the ravaged public sector utilities (Schloss, P. J., Cartwright, G. P., Smith, M. A.; Polka, B. A., 1986). The privatization public secondary education would have the core objective of transforming the present educational orient to serve the needs of the market that are inclusive of being technological and market oriented.

Privatization (Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., Rumbley, L E, 2010) is a management approach philosophy that refers to the transfer of the management and ownership of utilities from the public sector to the private sector. The process would be undertaken via the wholesome overhaul or the gradual transfer of the ownership and the management of the utilities (Bangay, C., 2006). In transferring the management of the secondary education from the public sector the implication is that the government would only come in to subsidize the education process through the payment for the services by the teachers and utterly leaving the management to the private proprietor (Lyall, K C., Sell, K R., 2006).

Privatization is very comprehensive yet a continuous and gradual process that calls for due review and the revaluation of the components of the process that need to change hand in the name of new approach to the management of the affairs of the sector (Scott, J., DiMartino, C., 2008). The successful implementation of the strategies of the privatization process eludes the possibility of sectoral atrophy, transforming the sector into dynamic ones that are basically needs and service oriented.

3.2 Definition of Public Education Privatization

In understanding the central tenets of the privatization process the definitions of the central terms is imperative to assist in the development of due and relevant and contextual strategies.

Public: according to Witte, (Witte, J. F., 2004) public education refers to the wider populace that is normally represented and services provided to them by the government through funding of the process and the overall management of the system.

Privatization: Within the context of secondary schooling, the term implies the transfer of the management from the governments mandate to that in which the privates sector makes most of the pertinent decisions related to the management of educational affairs in the secondary level of education (Wilkinson, G.,, 2007). The services offered by the within the secondary level of the education system becomes the sole responsibility of the private sector with the government only taking part in the quality control prospects. In most government, (Uecker, Jeremy E., 2009) the large segment of the delivery of the educations has been largely a preserve of the government (public sector). The process of privatization would be done in phases or as a single phase.

Schooling: Schooling refers to the formal attainment of the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude that are needed in the development of an individual’s capabilities (Lyall, K C., Sell, K R., 2006). The learners are normally put in reserved places that are meant for that purpose and the services provided within that framework. The facilities that are developed are meant for the delivery of such services to a number of persons at a go.

Education: This is the attainment of any positive changes facilitated through the interaction of the learner and the environment or the interaction of the learner with the instructor. Most of the government sponsored education is formal (Bangay, C., 2006). However, it needs to be appreciated that education can be classified into three categories, informal, formal and non formal education. Whatever the categorization, the ultimate goal of education is to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes that are incidental in the development of an individual’s career (Uecker, Jeremy E, 2009). Within the context of this thesis the education referred to is that that would leverage the technological advancement and the market needs.

Privatization of the secondary schooling: This refers to surrender by the government of the management of the secondary level of learning such as can be managed in total by the private sector (Cribb, A., Ball, S., 2005). The surrender would be either partial or in total (Gollust, S E., Jacobson, P D., 2004). Where the privatization is done in total, the entire variables within the system of education would be determined by the private sector mandated with the running of the education at this level.


3.2.1 Defining Principles

It can be adduced from the definitions that there would be a number of defining principles for the prospects and the process of privatization (Uecker, Jeremy E. 2009). However the central and core driving principles of the process are inherent in the fact that the process seeks to maximize output, cut down on the marginal costs and satisfy the demands of the consumer (Davidson-Hard, A., Majhanovich, S., 2004).  The inherent pointer is that the expectations of the prospective and the customers should be duly met.

At the centre of the privatization process are three core principles. Focus (Gollust, S E., Jacobson, P D, 2006) on the satisfaction of the client, continued improvement of the service delivery process and the enhancing teamwork for the sake of making effective and efficient the process of content delivery to the learners.

The most important of the teaching learning principles is the student centered nature of learning. Learning ought to be centered at the learners such that the desires of the learner drive the teaching learning process. Besides, the aspect of learner-centeredness has to ensure that the learners pace dictates the speed of content delivery by the teacher (Klees, S J.,A, 2008). Clearly, if the tutor centers the content delivery process on the tenets of the learner-centeredness, attainment of the set objectives is quite inevitable.

Given the technological and the inventions that are inherent within society, the development of teaching learning strategies and models that are very dynamic in their orientation is inevitable (Bangay, C., 2006). The strategies adopted should be those that can comfortably provide room for the continued development and improvements on the presents knowledge, skills and attitudes and the delivery approach thereof (Witte, J. F., 2004).

For the sector to effectively reach its desired standards, it wound be worth the course embracing teamwork within all the stakeholders. The interaction between the various team players does ensure that the targeted objectives are unilaterally and collectively attained via the concerted efforts of the various team players (Klees, S J.,A 2008). This makes the stakeholders to feel as part of the success story and part of the entire process that translates into the overall success.

3.3 Theoretical Underpinnings

            While it is appreciable that privatizations has always been coupled with success stories world over, it is equally appreciable that the policies would have a numbers of underpins (Farnsworth, K., 2006). This underpins would be in terms of both policy implementations and economic underpins. In the change of guard from private orientation to public orientation, it is needs to be taken into consideration formatively that the numerous challenges would be expected forthwith.

The transfer of management from public to public brings with its challenges of managerial restructuring. This restructuring not only comes with insurmountable costs but has a lot of adaptation and teething challenges encountered during the process (Burch, P., Donovan, J., Steinburg, M., 2006). New management approaches have to accompany the entire privatization process, these calls for retraining and reorientation of the staff. This is ultimately an additional cost to the firm or the sector.

The privatization process may also come with cost cutting measures that may not go down well with the community the staff and the suppliers (Bohlmark, A. and Lindahl, M., 2008). This makes the sector get prone to imminent sabotage. Workers may just need to be laid of by the new management. These workers will do anything within their means to make sure that they retain their status in the sector. In the long run, the objectives of the company would be largely sacrificed.

On the side of the government, the privatization and the effects thereof tends to jeopardize in the short run its objectives (Holly, D., 2009). In circumstances in which the workers have to be laid off, the unemployment rates are increased through such restructuring while the aims of the government of the day would be to create more jobs for its populace. Besides the overall GDP arising from individual earning tends to be lowered through this move given that the per capita income would have gone down.

Further, (Holly, D., 2009) leaving the management of such important services to the private sector utterly leads to the exploitation of the populace. World over, government will always year to provide strategic services such as the roads, medical and security considering their role in its prospects (Robelen, Erik W., 2006). The private sector is largely profit oriented and therefore will not take into consideration the diverse economic abilities of the populace. In the final analysis, disparities will be perpetuated as education may end up remaining a preserve of the rich.

While it is equally appreciable that the public sector has been largely successful in its undertakings, the success story has remained true particularly where it is offering services on small scale. However, the delivery of pertinent services on the large scale ends up being largely profit oriented than results oriented (Farnsworth, K., 2006). In entering such commitment, the government has to take extra measuring in ensuring that the public is cushioned from any exploitation and receipt of substandard services.

3.2.1 Total Systems Theory

School management has been largely based on the systems approach to management. Privatization therefore (Davidson-Hard, A., Majhanovich, S., 2004) tends to delineate the education setting from both the community and the stakeholders. It makes the management of the affairs of the school, largely a preserve of the shareholders; who tend to concentrate largely on the profits and leave out the aspirations of the general public.

Total quality management is supposed to be embraced in the running of the affairs of the school. The customer and the services or the goods being delivered to the market are supposed to direct the behavior of the supplier (Chun, L., 2009). The school, as a supplier, should be directed by the desires and the aspiration of the market is expected to play a central role in the nature of the services that are to be supplied. Competition is also a key determinant of the services and the goods made available at the market place. It is therefore imperative that the for quality services to be delivered, the markets have some level of competition (Ball, S. J. 2003). However, if the education sector is left to the private the competition may lead to mischief among the players and hence offering substandard services to the general public.

Within the systems approach to management, the management philosophy is meant to acknowledge that a substantive level of co-dependency amongst the organizations or the sectors, both intra and extra organizational aspects is imperative for the success of any sector. However, privatized systems tend to be closed in nature having them undertake some of its activities secretly; this makes the education remain outside any continuum. Ultimately, the interactions between the stakeholders brought about by the public sector would be locked out if the entire secondary education sector is left in the hands of the private sector.

3.3.2 Overall Privatization Theory

The theory of privatization is based on the fact that the investors in the private sector are largely concerned about profits (Bohlmark, A. and Lindahl, M., 2008). Given this central motive, the private sector will endear to increase its turn over at all costs through the utilization of various means (Klees, S J.,A 2008). In the private investor’s quest to have increased turnover, the investor ends up offering the quality services to the public.

Amongst the means the private sector will apply is the overall increase in the quality offered to the public. Given that the competitor will be insurmountably many, the investor will always yearn to have control of a large segment of the market (Lyall, K C., Sell, K R., 2006). Because the market is service oriented, the best services will always fetch the large share of the market (Ball, S. J. 2003). Provided the pricing is the same and the consumers are rational enough, the quality of the services provided will always drive the consumer towards their opportunity cost.

The private sector has a equally substantive objective of cutting down on its costs. Through the cutting on the costs, the private sector will always invest more through the savings it will have gotten from the cut costs. The investment will not only create more jobs for the populace but increase the overall GDP of any nation (Chun, L., 2009). Ultimately, competitive advantage will always drive the motive of the investors, in the long run, given the specialization nature of the private sector, inventions and invasions are bound to be rife in the private sector. This are pillars in the nation’s quest for technological growth. The private sector will also venture into new strategies for delivery content.

3.4 Summary

This chapter starts by giving a brief overview of the expectations within the education sector. The chapter then looks at the challenges inherent within the education sector and such as can lay the base for the discussion on the probable measures for addressing the challenges.

The chapter looks at the stronghold of privatization as a process seeking to delve into the applicability of this advantages and the best way of having them dully adopted within the public secondary education sector (Daun, H., 2004). While the delivery of such incidental services is seen as treacherous being left in the hands of the public sector, the chapter looks at the inherent merits of the privatization with particular applicability to the secondary education.

The chapter then looks at the theoretical orient of the privatization prospects and the approach of the adoption at the secondary education (Cribb, A., Ball, S., 2005). The chapter wraps up through the review of the privatization theory, and the tenets inherent in the theory that would be incidental in the leveraging of the prospects in the secondary education within the public sector.







4.1 Introduction

This chapter aims at providing an overview on the methodology used and the research design that was used in the study. The design is restricted to its applicability to the private vis-à-vis the public sector. In exploring the phenomenon on the of the public secondary education and the private sector management strategies, the study looks at the strategies used in the private sector and their feasibility in the public sector (Klees, S J.,A 2008). Or at the very epicenter, the total transfer of the public utilities to the management by the private sector.

The dissertation seeks to identify the differences in the management approaches between the two divergent paradigms and their interchangeable utility (Anne L., 1992). The chapter seeks to address the question on whether the public sector can subscribe to the tenets and paradigms inherent within the private sector.

In the light of this assertion, the comparative poor performance in the public sector is investigated vis-à-vis the private sector. The chapter looks at the possibilities of adapting Total Quality Management strategies within the setting of the public sector and the probabilities of paying dividends (Lyall, K C., Sell, K R., 2006). The chapter seeks to find out whether the strategies used by the privates sector are actually a preserve of the sector parse.

The chapter does an analysis of primary data collected through interviews with workers both in the private sector and the public sector. The chapter subsequently critiques the management paradigms inherent in the public sector as it gives sufficient credit to the private sector as the better alternative for the leveraging of the challenges that are dogging the secondary education sector in therepublicofSaudi Arabia, and perhaps the applicability of the same in other countries.

The paper then looks at the proposal for the implementation of TQM policies that are utilized in the private sector to the public sector (Cribb, A., Ball, S., 2005). The chapter makes proposals for the implementation. These proposals are then defended through the empirical evidence collected from the research.

4.2 Research Background.

4.2.1 Research Hypothesis

In the addressing the gaps that have been identified within the management system of the secondary level in therepublicofSaudi Arabia, this thesis seek to validate the following hypotheses:

H1.      The Private sector strategies for management are quite applicable to the

Public sector.

H2       the breakthrough in the implementation of the private paradigms in the

Public sector is utterly based on the effectiveness of the customization of

The strategies, the models and the tools that are largely utilized by the private sector.

H3      the total quality management tenets can be effectively applied to the public sector and give sufficient returns.

4.2.2 Research Questions

1)      Would the overall transfer of the management mandate of the secondary

Educations to the private sector make the attainment of the educational goals within the sector realizable and maximized?

2)      Is it possible to adopt management tools, paradigms and strategies inherent in the

Private sector to the public sector?

3)      Can total quality management strategies be effectively applied in the education sector with emphasis to the public sector?

4.2.3 Research Objectives

a)      Evaluate the option of privatizing all the secondary education in therepublicofSaudi Arabia

b)      Develop strategies that would be utilized in the process of transferring the management of the secondary education to the private sector from the public sector.

c)      Study the literature on the management of private sector and the public sector and the possibility of importing the policies from the private sector to the public feasibly.

d)     Undertake an analysis of the existing differences between the public and private sector management.

e)      Identify the short falls of the public secondary education with a view of eliminating the shortfall through privatization (Cribb, A., Ball, S., 2005).

f)       To establish the possibilities of the private and public organizational structures and the sectoral differences acting as obstacles towards the implementation of the paradigms, the tools and the strategies to the public sector.

g)      Identify the basis for the poor performance in the public sector vis-à-vis the availability of resources.

h)      To segregate the generic distinctions between the public and private sectors and evaluate whether these differences would contribute to the success of one sector vis-à-vis the success of the other.

i)        To develop suitable paradigms suitable for the implementation in the quest to leverage the performance in the public secondary education.

4.3 Research Design and Research Methodology

Research methodology seeks to reference the procedures and the rules utilized in the evaluation of the claims inherent within the research and the validation of the gathered knowledge. Research design on the other hand seeks to establish the blue print of the research (Carnoy, M., Jacobsen, R., and Mishel, L., 2005). The methodology serves as the academia’s regulatory framework within which the collection and the evaluation of the available knowledge for the shear reason of validating the new information arrived at.

4.4 Qualitative Sampling

Given the vitality of the research, the sample size was very important. On the contrary the research sample was curtailed by the availability of resources for carrying out the research. There was no sufficient and enough time and resources for covering a large sample. This led to the choice of a small sample space of only 32 persons that were accessed through a randomized sampling procedure. However, much as the sample was randomized, it largely remained and was reached a thorough sampling procedure.

For persons were picked at random from the private sector and the public sector for interview to establish their take on the way the public affairs are managed with special reference to the secondary sector education. This was aimed at reducing the bias if any, in the data collected. Besides, this was intended in ensuring that the data collected was across the divide for the prospective beneficiaries of the education policies, strategies and paradigms.

Similarly, given that this was largely qualitative research, statistical significance tended to be ignored. The sample size was significantly kept low. This was meant to ensure that the available resources were adequately used in reaching the intended objectives.

4.5 Qualitative Data Collection

The research did not approach the research with any specified data collection approach. However, the nature of the data that was to be collected informed the decision on the data collection method. However, this notwithstanding the resource availability was the major determinant of the data collection method. Given that the aspect under investigation was a matter of national importance and the information collected was meant to cut across the nation, the research adopted semi-structured interviews send view mail and internet to the respondents.

Interviews were largely used owing to their varied and numerous merits for they lend themselves. The researcher was able to establish the social trend in the responses and the overall attitude in the handling of the matter by the respondents. This assisted the research in enriching the research data.

Interviews were largely meant to clarify research strategies commonly used in the private sector and the public sector. This was done with a view of determining their applicability to the private sector. The research interview was also meant to gauge their effectiveness and their efficiency insofar as management of the pubic affairs was concerned.

The interviews had the least exception for the confidentiality of the information that was offered by the respondents (Rawaf, H S A. 1991). The names of the organization in which the respondents were working were kept as secrets and the policies given forth not provided with any specifications.

4.7 Credibility and Quality of Research Findings

4.7.1 Reliability

The research strategies were coined such as would ensure any other research with similar objectives and with the same research questions would bring forth the same research results as would be inherent within this research.

The reliability of the research has to be upheld if the research has to be of any incidental effect on society (Robelen, E W. 2007). Given the gravity of the issue under investigation, the research’s reliability is inevitable and has to be held in due esteem. The research therefore maintained a high protocol of the research, such as would meet the desires of those who would wish to determine the reliability of the research.

Resultant from this key tenet of the research, it was incumbent on the research to ensure that reliability of the research was held in high esteem (Brown, F., 2002). The advice cited on the reliability was therefore followed to the later.

4.7.2 Validity

The researcher’s validity was measured through the fact that the research’s central objective was to establish the applicability of the private sector paradigms, strategies and tools in the management of the public sector. At the very end, the research sought to establish whether secondary sector education would be left in the hands of the private sector and the implications thereof.

The applicability of the finding to external case also informed the researcher’s decision on the determination of the validity of the research. This construct validity of this research suffices the researcher’s clarion and central objective. This gives the research due leverage and basis for research recommendation for future follow-ups.


Chapter 5 Presentation of Results

5.1 Introductions

Having successfully undertaken the research, the findings needed to be presented in a logical and presentable manner. The researcher looked at the ratio of those who supported the management of secondary education via the public sector and the management of secondary education through the private sector.

Through the research process, it was agreeable across the divide that the management of the affairs of the secondary level of education inSaudi Arabiawas wanting and needed an overhaul (Chubb, J. E. and Moe, T. M., 1990). The mode of adoption of the tools and the paradigms within the private sector and their applicability to the public sector was what the research could not ardently establish.

The data was presented on pictograms and pie charts to show the overall support of the paradigm shift from the present system that is dogged by massive poor performance in the secondary level of education inSaudi Arabia.

5.2 Results

            The research provided general consensus that the need for increasing the demand for quality secondary educationSaudi Arabia was rife and wanting. The research showered that whereas the government was making all the efforts towards improving the standards, the management paradigms inherent in the public secondary school sector would not support the sectors overall objectives.

The school management system also needed to be reviewed through the shift from government supervision of the affairs at the secondary level to the private supervision of the implementation of the curriculum at this level (George Y, Mervyn K, Jacques M, 1986). Further the research showed that the largely bureaucratic system contributed to the overall failure of the policies developed in the secondary school setting. Consequently, the adoption of the policies that would reduce the bureaucracy would leverage the achievement of the objectives.

The research established the cost of schooling inSaudi Arabiawas marginally high compared to the returns. Yet an estimated 20% of the Saudi Arabian budget is spent on the education (Chubb, J. E. and Moe, T. M. 1990). The research did establish that though the expenditure in the sector was high the returns were insurmountably low.

The research also adduced that the quality control system within the secondary education sector was low and that the total quality management tenets would be used in the development of tools, strategies and paradigms that would be incidental in ensuring that the quality of education at this level under investigation is boosted.

The accountability system at the secondary level of education was equally found wanting and the research established that the only was the system would be leveraged well would be the ultimate transfer of the management mandate from the public sector to the private sector.



6.1 Introductions

It is clear from the research that the much of the results that are achieved at the secondary education level is not what is projected by the government. Hence the need to review the education strategies is clearly calling and timely. This research therefore comes in as timely and critical.

Private sector world over has always been the pacesetter in any industry (Anne L. 1992). The sector’s rethinking of the present public secondary education policies is therefore not only a relief for the general public it is also incidental for the attainment of the millennium development goals by therepublicofSaudi Arabia.

6.2 Organizational Preparedness

In effectively adopting these policies, the government has to develop the implementation structure that would ensure the transition is smooth with the least teething problems if any (George Y, Mervyn K, Jacques M). Similarly, the policies adopted should not be such as can increase the costs of schooling for the general public at the secondary level.

The stakeholders should be effectively and efficiently oriented to the new management approach to ensure that they support the implementation process. This will ensure that sabotage prospects are largely minimized. Perhaps it would equally be worth it implementing the policies in phases so that the each stage’s evaluation would precede the implementation of the other.



7.1 Contribution of The Research

The research finds the base for the transfer and the adoption of private sector paradigms to the management of public sector affairs (George Y, Mervyn K, Jacques M). Further, the research develops models that would be incidental in the implementation of the tools, paradigms and the strategies, for the improvement of performance in the public sector.

The research develops short falls within the private sector with the view of checking the challenges once the public sector secondary education is mandated to the private sector. This is intended to reduce any further losses when the management of the secondary education is transferred to the private sector.

7.2 Implication of The Research

7.2.1 Implications for the Public Service Sector

The research acts a pointer for the public sector in Saudi Arabia that it services are wanting and needs to be reviewed and restructured (Brown, F., 2002). Worse still, the research shows that the public sector does not measure to the tasks bestowed upon them. And that this denies the public the expected returns.

Subsequently, the research does imply that for the public to reap maximum from the services offered by the government, the services should be left to the private sector or the services should be delivered through the use of tools, strategies and paradigms commonly used by the private sector.

7.2.2 Implications for Future Research

From within the precincts of the larger topic, the adoption of the private sector paradigms, tools and strategies in schooling would go a long way leveraging the objectives of the education sector (Carnoy, M., Jacobsen, R., and Mishel, L., 2005). Besides, the subsequent transfer of the management to the private sector would not only reduce the disparities in the performance but also bring about uniformity in the teaching learning approaches.

While there is sufficient evidence that the adoption of the policies would not only be complex but expensive, in the long run there is sufficient evidence that with an elaborate implementation cum adoption strategies, the process would be very smooth and without fail (George Y, Mervyn K, Jacques M 1986).

In addition, if the implementation is coupled with well developed total quality management policies, the challenges and the teething problems thereof would hardly be encountered along the adoption and the implementation path. In the final analysis, the costs would marginally be cut down.

7.3 Limitations of the Study

Though the study does emphasis the vitality of the research formative, it is of essence concluding the study with some inherent limitations. These limitations apart from providing the shortfalls provide guidance for any future researches to ensure the researches do not fall prey to such limitations.

Judging the study based of the component that are pertinent and that it does fail to cover, the study fails in developing a models that would adequately address the challenges that are presently dogging the private sector (Chowdry, H., Greaves, E. and Sibieta, L., 2010). The study equally fails to determine the efficiency with which TQM management policies will leverage maximally the objectives of the education sector.

The time spans was quite limited, this made the establishment of variable that would otherwise affect the overall implementation process remain within a half vacuum (CBI, Confederation of British Industry, 2008). The data collection approach was qualitative on most occasions, rather than quantitative, this locked out the possibilities of utilizing case studies in the collection of incidental information. If the two data collection approaches were used, the study would have had increased validity and reliability.

The scope of the research was equally limited, particularly given that questionnaires were only given to 32 persons. This makes the study more prone to respondent and interviewee bias. Though precautions were adequately taken, such bias would not be readily wished away.

Lastly, given the study had much reliance on secondary resources, the study equally limited by the available literature. Not much had been documented on the transfer of the management of secondary education to the private sector. the only available literature related to the privatization of other public utilities such as companies.

7.4 Final Conclusions

In spite of the shortcoming underlying the study, there is sufficient evidence that the research study satisfies the outlined objectives and does validate the hypotheses listed thereof. The position that the study adopted was that there are no validated obstacles towards the adoption of the private sector policies, or better still, outright transfer of the management of the public secondary education to the private sector.

Vividly, the literature that was reviewed did support this statement backed by the field study thereof (Carnoy, M., Jacobsen, R., and Mishel, L., 2005). The study clearly demonstrated that the policies utilized in the private sector would effectively and efficiently be applied in the public sector with particular reference to the secondary education. The application of private sector strategies across the board appeared to have worked relatively well across the board and were worth adopting within the secondary education sector in theRepublicofSaudi Arabia(Chowdry, H., Greaves, E. and Sibieta, L., 2010). Professionals who had applied the strategies elsewhere appeared contented that the transfer of the policies would actually leverage the objectives of the public sector.

The findings are both backed by the available literature reviewed and the fields study (Anne L. 1992). This notwithstanding, the study did not sufficiently elude the fears of any obstacles to be encountered during the implementation process if the strategies were adapted to the public secondary education sector.

The conclusion that is reached from the study is that private sector strategies for management would be effectively and efficiently utilized within the public sector (Robelen, E W, 2007). Moreover, whether by necessity or by definition, mechanistic or by formalized the strategies would, if successfully implemented guarantee the effective management of the public sector. Within the mandate of this argument, it suffices adopting the strategies in the private sector to the public secondary education by utter transfer of the management of the secondary education sector to the private sector.