(MENAFN - Arab News) Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Salman thanked Education Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, who is also deputy chairman of the King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) for the achievements of Saudi participants in the Mathematics Olympiad in Argentina conducted this year.
The Kingdom won the 29th position among 101 participating countries in the international event.
"We thank you and our talented children for what they achieved and pray to the Almighty Allah to give them more success in matters that bring glory to the nation," the vice custodian said in his reply to a report submitted earlier by the minister regarding the Saudi achievement in the Math Olympiad.
The prince also noted that Saudi participants, who won two silver and three bronze medals, were ahead of all other Arab countries.
"While its position some years ago was at the bottom of the list, the Kingdom, with its strong encouragement and right planning, achieved this substantial accomplishment in the scientific field. It points to the potential of intellectual giftedness in the country with their capability to compete worldwide," Prince Faisal said in a statement, quoted by the Saudi Press Agency yesterday.
Mawhiba, a national cultural foundation, strives to develop a creative environment and society for gifted students. Since 2008, the foundation has partnered with from elementary schools to universities to help mold young leaders of tomorrow. Last year, it saw an increase of 75 percent in student participation.
Mawhiba also offers scholarships to schools that nurture their talents with enriching curriculums and qualified teachers.
In 2009 there were 236 students in 16 schools in four cities of the Kingdom that partnered with Mawhiba. In 2012 there were 53 schools with 1,750 students in eight cities.
The schools that wish to be part of the initiative are chosen based on local and international standards. Teaching staff must also be up to the standards. Mawhiba faced a real challenge in finding qualified teachers, especially in math and science, an official of Mawhiba said on an earlier occasion.
Mawhiba's goal is to enroll 2,500 male and female students in 2013 and 3,500 in 2014.