Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has reportedly fired the contractor tasked with building two schools in the Eastern province city of Qatif after the firm failed to complete the projects on time.

According to local news outlet Saudi Gazette, which cited Al-Yaum newspaper, the delay in implementing the project lasted more than six years, which confirmed the “negligence of the contractor that caused the projects to falter”.

One of the projects was the Bin Al-Arqam Secondary School in Darin, while the other was in Al-Shati neighborhood on Tarut Island.

The name of the fired contractor was not mentioned in the report.

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Saeed Al-Bahas, an official spokesman of the Ministry of Education in the Easter province, was quoted as saying: “The department has taken all the actions necessary and directed officials to withdraw the two projects from the contractor.”

He added a committee was assigned to follow up with the implementation of the projects, noting that the Al-Shati project, which was 81% complete, “had to be completed as soon as possible”.

The news outlet also quoted Ja’far Al-Eid, a Saudi citizen: “The school building in Al-Shati has become a shelter for stray dogs and illegal expats. It has become a garbage dump and place for vandalism. Some of the land was stolen during the period.

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“Our sons and daughters have been deprived of the opportunity to study in a suitable educational building.”

The news comes amid a huge push by the Saudi government to build more educational facilities across the kingdom.

In February, Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa said the private sector will finance the construction and operation of 1,600 school across Saudi, adding that partnerships with the private sector were “vital” in this endeavour.