• 13:40
  • Wednesday ,06 July 2016

Egypt: The urgency of education reform

By-Hani Raslan- Ahramnonline



Wednesday ,06 July 2016

Egypt: The urgency of education reform
All of us know how education has deteriorated to the extent that it has become a hollow formal process void of any content to make our offspring capable of performing their roles and bearing their responsibilities towards themselves and their homeland in the future.
The secondary school certificate exams still attract a high degree of attention due to fact that students’ results in these exams determine the path of their academic and practical future.
Thus, the leaking of this exam constituted a knockout blow to the pretext saying that these exams are the best means for achieving the equal opportunity principle.
In addition, the entire educational process has collapsed amid total dependence on private lessons, through which the whole process was transformed into squeezing information into students’ minds alongside the absence of cultural or sportive activities able to build students’ characters.
With the passage of time, this has created a kind of emptiness and entrenched an alternative value system that lacks any form of knowledge or skill save the ability to deal with question papers.  
Currently, the great majority of schools suffer a shortage of resources and overcrowdedness in classrooms. At the same time, teachers complain about the absence of training and low monthly incomes.
The result is that the educational process is almost non-existent and nobody cares except about “stacking official papers and records."
It is well known that the situation has deteriorated to the extent that some secondary school graduates are unable to write their own names correctly and that some students reach university still making horrible spelling mistakes.   
What’s really happening is a huge drain of this country’s resources in a way that obstructs the present and destroys the future. For in addition to the almost total waste of the budget allocated to the Ministry of Education in what seems a futile effort, there is an even more dangerous matter which the loss arising from driving unqualified generations to the labour market, where they suffer unemployment and marginalisation.
At the same time, they are transformed into social time bombs because they are mostly unable to execute manual or technical work useful to them or to society.
The educational system is in urgent need of comprehensive review and it is impossible in the current situation to put the blame on the shoulders of one party without others. The mother of all evils is that the system does not work and this isn’t the responsibility of a particular party.
It is the responsibility of the political leadership to take appropriate measures to renew the spirit of the educational system and its structures.
The starting point must be holding an extended conference to conduct a radical review that sets new rules, adopts a clear philosophy and links education with development.
This conference has to review the economic aspects of the educational process and have the mandate to take needed decisions regarding keeping the education process free, partially or totally, without the state abandoning its duties.
Education is one of the main pillars of development in any society.