A comparative study of the development of the primary stage of Islamic religious education in the State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1950 to 1990
The central question of this thesis asks: what are the differences, if any, between Islamic Religious Education development in the state of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? A thorough review of literature concerning Islamic Religious Education (I.R.E.) is carried out, covering the historical background of I.R.E. during the 1950s and '60s in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The development in I.R.E. that has taken place up to date is highlighted, and the aims of I.R.E. in primary education in the two countries are examined. The formats of the I.R.E. curriculum textbooks in the first, second and third years of primary education in each country are compared. The development of these textbooks with regard to the aims and functions of I.R.E. are described, and their advantages and disadvantages analysed. The philosophy of the aims of I.R.E. is discussed in depth, with respect to Islam in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, focussing on the relation between the Islamic religion and education. The question of why I.R.E. is taught is considered, as well as the role of the I.R.E. teacher in the development process in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The involvement and duties of parents and teachers, and their effectiveness in the communication of I.R.E. to children is discussed. The level of parents participation in I.R.E. is examined. Questionnaires were distributed to teachers of I.R.E. and parents in both countries, and the results analysed. This showed significant differences between Kuwaiti and Saudi I.R.E. teachers in terms of both background and responses. The study was concluded with several suggestions and recommendations for the integration of J.R.E. in the two countries.