Background and Purpose: Recently, human impacts on marine ecosystems have intensified as the population and pressures increase. Human-originated pollutants of all kinds have impacted the oceans and the marine ecosystems. Oil spills, sewage, plastics, chemicals, garbage, carbon dioxide, and overfishing are the most challenging issues. It is known that school students are the future generation; they receive their information at school. Therefore, it is essential to assess students' knowledge and awareness regarding ocean related issues.


Methodology: This study investigated ocean literacy (OL) of primary school students at international schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, based on the seven principles of ocean literacy. Resources from which children get information about the oceans was also investigated. Finally, the study investigated the attitudes of primary school students towards learning oceanography, protecting the oceans, and the relationship between humans and the environment. A questionnaire had been adapted from the Survey of Ocean Literacy and Experience (SOLE) and the Survey of Ocean Stewardship (SOS). The SOLE and SOS surveys had been developed originally by Greely (2008). However, due to the grade level of students and time issues, the number of questionnaire items were reduced and simplified. The questionnaire was distributed in two separate sessions. Students from three international schools, boys' sections, received the survey. 120 students answered the SOLE, and 102 students answered the SOS.


Findings: Results indicated a rather moderate level of ocean literacy of participants with a mean score of 12.56 (SD= 5.18) concerning the SOLE, and a mean score of 3.30 (SD= 1.12) concerning the SOS. As for the resource of information, results indicated the education program to be the students’ main source of education, television channels came second.


Contributions: Students of Riyadh international primary schools showed a positive attitude toward ocean stewardship. The study can help policy makers, curriculum developers and textbook authors to better understand the level of ocean literacy among students and take decisions to develop school curricula especially in the efforts to align with UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). It also corresponds to the 2020-2030 vision in Saudi Arabia.


Keywords: Ocean Literacy level, ocean Sciences materials, Saudi Arabia learners' attitudes


Cite as: Aboulail, F. S., & Ahmad Tajuddin, A. J. (2021). Ocean literacy of primary students of international schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(2), 403-423. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp403-423

Author Biographies

Fadi Saad Aboulail, Centre of Fundamental and Continuing Education, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Fadi Saad Aboulail is a postgraduate student at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu preparing for his masters degree. He received his bachelor’s degree of English Literature from the Damascus University, Syria in 2004. He is an English language teacher at international schools and academies in Riyad, Saudi Arabia. He also has experience in curriculum designing.

Azza Jauhar Ahmad Tajuddin, Centre of Fundamental and Continuing Education, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21300 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Azza Jauhar Ahmad Tajuddin is a lecturer at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. She received her Bachelor of Education in TESOL from Moray House College of Education, University of Edinburgh; her Master of Education (TESL) at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and; PhD in Education from the University of Nottingham. Her teaching and research career has led her to empower herself and others to create a learned society by exploring community-based experiential learning.


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How to Cite
Aboulail, F. S., & Ahmad Tajuddin, A. J. (2021). OCEAN LITERACY OF PRIMARY STUDENTS OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 6(2), 403-423. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp403-423