Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has announced that children of illegal residents will be able to enroll in schools during the new academic year.
The ministry stated that schools should provide the parents of children residing illegally in the kingdom with admission forms and direct them to the relevant offices in the regions where they are residing to complete the application process.
“This can help those individuals whose Iqama [Resident ID] has expired and since it can be financially challenging for parents to pay the renewal fee [which can go up to SR 2000 per individual] for the whole family, children would be stuck in a dire situation and miss out on education,” Fatima Abdullah, a Saudi administrator at a local school in Jeddah, was quoted as saying by the National.
“This way they will get some more time to pay off other dues without sacrificing on their children’s education,” she added.
“The move highlights the country’s vision and priorities — which is to ensure every child has access to education. This has been done before when it came to health care and vaccines — all illegal immigrants were given free medical care and the vaccine for Covid-19,” said Hana Bashir, a Saudi schoolteacher in Jeddah.
According to Al Arabiya the admission forms, once approved by the ministry, can then be submitted to relevant school authorities to complete the process. However, it has also been revealed that parents with illegal statuses must also submit a document saying that they will correct their status in the kingdom during the academic year.