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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Education as a stepping stone | Opinion - Ahram Online

"The government has announced ambitious plans to modernise Egyptian education with Japanese help" according to Samir Sobhi - Ahram Online.
Changes to the education system are the first step to reforming the human mind in the new Egypt and the new Middle East. This is simply to sum up the answer to the question of who the new citizen is and how he can be created.

In the past, ideas in books were sometimes simply memorised, but today things are changing, and discoveries and inventions have been non-stop. The language itself has changed to keep up with the recent technologies and not just in space science.

The English philosopher Bertrand Russell, the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, once said that it was essential to develop human thought to guarantee the future of humanity. We are now living in the 21st century when Russell’s views are even more essential.

He saw the need to pay attention to technological education, but he hoped that cultural education would also occupy an important part of the curriculum such that people would become global citizens.

Russell said that the interplay of cultural with technical education was a blending of knowledge with wisdom, and that culture could help to prevent narrow-minded tendencies resulting in short-sighted policies.

The ultimate objective of education was to prepare people to be good citizens, he said, underlining the need to teach technology and culture.

In Egypt, the government has announced a new project to teach 20 million pre-university students in line with its 2030 Vision.

Minister of Education Tarek Shawki has spoken of the need to modernise education and the curriculum to keep pace with global developments and to promote digital knowledge to cope with what is happening globally.

He has said that a new education system will be introduced among students at Japanese-run schools in Egypt and that Egyptian teachers will be trained by Japanese personnel.

While there are some 57,000 schools in Egypt, including 49,000 public and 7,000 private ones, the philosophy of the new system will be different in that it will seek to integrate science, mathematics, history, geography and Arabic within a multidisciplinary package in the primary stages, along with English, religion and sports.

English will be taught from kindergarten in all public schools, and up to grade 12 science and mathematics will be taught in English.

Teaching English in the new system will be in parallel to teaching the curriculum as a whole, with scientific and mathematical terms being taught in Arabic and English.

Source: Ahram Online