Beginning of General Education:
The establishment of the Directorate of Knowledge in 1925, marked the launch of the first educational system in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and was the cornerstone of the boys' educational system in the country. A decision was made in 1927, to establish the first council for knowledge with an aim to develop an educational system that would monitor education in the Hijaz region.
The powers of the Directorate of Knowledge expanded upon the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its function was not only limited to the monitoring of education in the Hijaz region. However it monitored all the educational affairs in entire KSA. Initially the directorate started with four schools and the number of schools then increased to 323.
In 1951, the Ministry of Knowledge was established in the reign of King Saud Bin AbdulAziz Al Saud. It was the expanded and the developed form of the Directorate of Knowledge. Its functions were to plan and monitor boys' government education in primary, preparatory and secondary schools. King Fahd Bin AbdulAziz Al Saud was the first Minister of Knowledge.
The General Presidency for Girls’ Education was established in 1960, in the reign of King Faisal Bin AbdulAziz Al Saud, with a budget of $ 4.4 million. The presidency was responsible for 15 primary schools and one female teachers' intermediate institute. It was chaired by Sheikh AbdulAziz Nasser Al Rashid.
As education evolved, a royal decree was issued in 2002, to annex the General Presidency for Girls' Education, under the Ministry of Knowledge. Dr. Khedr Al Qurashi was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Knowledge for Girls' Education. A year later, the Ministry of Knowledge was renamed as Ministry of Education.
Beginning of Higher Education:
The Ministry of Education (higher education) was established by royal decree No. 1/236 dated 19-5-1975, to execute the kingdom's policy on higher education. The Minister of Education is responsible for the implementation of the government's educational policy.
Since very beginning higher education has received enormous governmental support; new universities, scientific and applied colleges were opened and huge funds were allocated in budgets for higher education. The number of higher education institutions in KSA has registered 30 government universities, 10 private universities, and 41 private colleges. These universities and colleges have scientific and applied majors in different areas. The Ministry of Education (higher education) has also adopted modern approaches for scientific research and future planning.
Merger of the Ministries (Education and Higher Education) :
In 2015, the Ministries of Education and Higher Education were merged into one entity, the Ministry of Education. Post merger, HE Dr. Azzam Mohammed Al Dakhil was appointed as the first Minister of Education.