دقيقتان مع الدكتور يحيى: أفكار للنهوض بالشعوب العربية ضمن مشروع نهضوي للعرب.
Two Minutes With Dr. Yahya: series of articles in the Process of Philosophy of the Arab Manifesto on nation Building.
ضمن مقالات فلسفة المشروع العربي
The Philosophy of the Arab Manifesto
لقطات حول التربية في العالم العربي /6
للدكاترة : حسن يحيى المجدلاوي
Snapshots On Education in the Arab World/6
Hasan Yahya, Ph.ds
This article in a series of articles on education in the Arab countries. In Islam, as a way of life, the first and most venerated word in the Koran is “read;” learning is believed to make a person more faithful to God, and more useful to humanity. In Islam, acquiring knowledge is equated with seeking the truth. As the great Arab philosopher Abu Yusef Al-Kindi (805-873) said: “We should not shy away from welcoming and acquiring the truth regardless of where it comes from, even if it comes from distant races and nations that are different from us. Nothing is more important than seeking the truth except the truth itself.”
During the last few decades, the spirit of such philosophy was lost and the region was intellectually blocked from the rest of the world. Today, polls throughout the Arab region indicate that people are dismayed by the resulting shortcomings in their societies. Although not universally acknowledged, underlying these shortcomings are weaknesses in the educational system, its approaches, materials and institutions. This is true at all levels of the education systems.
Emphasis in pre-university education on rote learning has stifled independent thinking. In some cases, instituting free university education to all has ballooned class sizes to untenable numbers. More importantly, top-down government control has ruled out innovation by teachers and students. Decades of neglect, inaction and the preservation of the status quo have produced aimless youth to join a largely muted, passive and ineffective workforce.
Thus, Arab countries missed the industrial age and continued to import most needed machinery and products from other advanced countries. Similarly, they missed the nuclear technological age and did not contribute to unlocking the secrets of the atom or the peaceful uses of radiation. The space age also passed with little notice in the Arab region. It behaved as a spectator of a sport who does not know the rules of the game. Arab leaders believed that expenditure in scientific research was a luxury that only rich countries could afford.Therefore, percentage of the national income contributed to education and scientific research is very low compared with nations such as Greece, Israel and USA. To name a few.
Egypt used to play a leading role in the Arab region. During the past century, it set the cultural trends and provided administrators, teachers, advisors and aid to others. However, a humiliating military defeat in 1967 derailed its self-confidence and eroded its influence. As Egypt slumbered in self-pity, the rest of the Arab world followed suit and stagnated. Thus, a revival of its preeminence would have positive effects in the whole region. Egypt’s newly-named cabinet is led by an information technology expert. The success of this cabinet’s forward-looking reform mandate could inspire
similar efforts elsewhere in the Arab world. (422 words) To be continued/ 7
@Hasan Yahya, Michigan, April 2012
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