Saudi Arabian authorities have instructed that 25 state-run schools to be run by private sector companies.
The decision came as part of economic reforms designed to ease pressure on the state’s finances, according to Reuters, and is part of the education ministry’s reform plans under Vision 2030, a wide-ranging programme championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to overhaul the economy
Last week it was announced that a goal of SAR35 to 40 billion of non-oil state revenues would be generated from privatisations by 2020, and an official overseeing that process told Reuters that school buildings would feature in some of the first deals.
The ministry announced in January a tender for a long-term concession to design, build, finance and maintain facilities for 60 schools in Jeddah and Mecca, from kindergartens to secondary schools.
In the past, the government built such infrastructure solely out of its own funds, but a drop in global oil prices in 2014 severely strained state finances, prompting authorities to seek the participation of private investors, Reuters said.