Sunday, October 4, 2009

Keep The Education Free

Dr. Ahmed Zowail wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe last month, it was about the Muslim world and how education can help in its  renaissance again.
One thing has stopped me in what he said :
This idea is by no means foreign to either Egypt or Islam. I came of age in Egypt after the Gamal Abdel Nasser revolution. Most Westerners today are unaware of the extent to which Nasser’s regime promoted education as the vital engine of progress. I was one of many young Egyptians who reaped the benefits, receiving an excellent public-school education in a system that encouraged women to attend college with men and enabled many Coptic Christians to be prominent teachers and professors.
I agree with Zowail in this part and the rest of what he had said but I have to disagree with the last part of that paragraph regarding the Coptic Christians as they were prominent teachers , professors and even ministers before Nasser.
One of the few pros of the Nasserite era is the education , the public education which was available for everyone , this free education helped Egypt to have the brightest scientists who are proving themselves day after day abroad , yes they did not stay but they went abroad with basis of science strong enough.
Now there are some voices saying that the problem of education in Egypt is that it is free , well the problem of education is anything but being free, it is one of the real achievements of the 23rd of July Coup that should be kept and preserved. It is ironic how these voices are also condemning the high levels of illiteracy and ignorance and at the same time they demand the cancellation of free education !!??
Already I wonder where that free education they are speaking about is ; even the public schools now demand fees than before!!??
The problem is not about the free education but rather what you present in this education. The regime does not want to have analytical thinkers who can ask questions , it is following the golden Dunlop’s education policy in Egypt during the British occupation : Educate them to have clerks with no hope in a better future for themselves and for their countries !!
The problem is not in free education but rather in the corruption in the government and in the ministry of education which led to loss of millions of pound project for education in Egypt with its different stages.

The numbers of students in classrooms and universities are not a big problem , you can build new schools and universities if you want , you have the space and more important you have money if you really want to the solve the education problem.
Ironically I believe most of these voices would not have been educated if it were not for the free education.
More about the educational system in Egypt 


  1. i agree with you, zeinobia and it´s not only an egyptian problem, by the way. but I think its not just about free education, or not. there aren´t enough schools in egypt, which is a big problem. many poor families tend to take kids out of school after reaching a basic level of education, because they´re needed to help in the family business. there is a lack of teaching values, it´s more about lerning by heart than to reflect and solve problems. and the privat sector produces a certification-system of better education, even schools just costs money & provides language skills. but many don´t have anything to do with general and humanistic education.

  2. @Rick , education now in Egypt has too many problems , you know if you think about it you will find it connected to other economic, political and social problems.
    As you mentioned poor families tend to take their kids after learning how to read and write because of economic reasons , if we solve our economic and political problems from corruption and transparency they may not do so and we will have enough funds to build more schools.
    The private schools now became a black hole of money as you mention because the regime does not care of supervising their educational process


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