The first ever school in Riyadh is the International Philippine School in Riyadh (formerly the Philippine Embassy School in Riyadh). In the late 90’s, other International Schools were established. As of press time, the schools that are still in operation in Riyadh are:
1. International Philippine School in Riyadh (IPSR)
2. Second Philippine International School (SPIS)
3. Elite International School (EIS)
4. Riyadh International School (RIS)
5. Future Generation Philippine International School (FGPIS)
6. Al Danah International School (ADIS)
7. Millenium International School (MIS)
8. Al Taj International School (ATIS)
9. Palm Crest International School (PCIS)
10. Fawaq International School (FIS)
Majority of the Philippine schools are located around the Riyadh Military Hospital and Suleimaniah Area. It’s like the U-belt of Pinoy Expats here. :))
Most schools offer Pre-Elementary, Elementary and High School education, however some schools like IPSR offer Post-Secondary Courses such as Computer Science, Business Management and Liberal Arts. SPIS also offer IT Occupational Courses such as CISCO training courses and introductory computer courses.
What if you relocate to Saudi Arabia in the middle of the School Year?
That’s not a problem. Most of the Philippine schools will accept enrollees even in the middle of the school year, to help OFW’s adjust to Saudi life faster. But they will need all of your child’s school documents in compliance with DepEd regulations.
Documents that you MUST bring to enroll your child
The documents required for admission would depend on the grade level of your child, but here is a list of documents usually required to enroll your child here in Riyadh:
1. Birth Certificate (Photocopy)
2. Iqama of Parents (Photocopy)
3. Passport of Parents (Photocopy)
4. 6 pcs of colored 1×1 ID picture
5. Student’s Passport
6. Original Report Card
7. Form 137
8. Honorable Dismissal from last school attended
9. Certificate of Good Moral Character
Tuition Fees vary per school but generally the tuition rates are around 4000 – 4500 SR per year plus 500 SR miscellaneous fee. You can pay for this in lump, quarterly or monthly installment. There are also schools that offer graduated discounts for the next child. For example, IPSR offers “graduated discount for the 2nd & 3rd siblings; whereas the 4th child enjoys 50% tuition fee discount and the 5th child is free from tuition fee.” (IPSR website)
Again this depends if the school is actually offering a scholarship grant. For example, RIS offers scholarships and tuition fee deductibles for consistent top-notchers in class.
Philippine schools in Riyadh follow the prescribed curriculum from DepEd. Your child will still be studying English, Math, Science, Araling Panlipunan or Sibika, Filipino, MAPE, THE and Computer. Most of the time, they will also be required to study Saudi History, Islamic Studies and Arabic Language, which are mandated by the Saudi Ministry of Education.
Schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities like Intrams, Field Demonstrations during the schools’ Foundation Week, Quizbees, Literary Contests, Science Congress and JS Promenades among others. Students may also join non-academic clubs, school newspapers, CAT, basketball and volleyball varsities and Student Council Organizations.
School Facilities and Services
Most schools would have a Clinic, Science laboratory, AVR room, Computer room, Home Economics room, Bookstores and Canteen. Quadrangles are also used for school activities and ball games like basketball and volleyball. School bus service is also offered by most Philippine schools.
Some schools will offer tutoring service for children who are having a hard time coping with lessons. The rates vary per school but rates would be around 200 SR per subject.
In most schools, students are sectioned by gender and not by scholastic standing. This is also a directive from the Ministry of Education that boys and girls should not mix on campus. Usually, only the Elementary students are allowed to attend a mix gender classroom..