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
دقيقتان مع الدكتور يحيى: لقطات حول التربية في العالم العربي
الحلقة الأخيرة 12
للدكاترة : حسن يحيى
Snapshots On Education in the Arab World/12
Although the Arab region is considered oil-rich and wealthy, all indications point to its knowledge deficit. This fact is clearly conveyed in the “Arab Human Development Report: Building a Knowledge Society” that was issued in 2003 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It pointed out that the Arab region trails behind all other regions in knowledge indicators, except sub-Saharan Africa. These indicators included the number of books, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, telephone lines, personal computers and Internet access.
A few small Arab countries have recently reversed this trend. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, nearly 30% of its nationals use personal computers, a number more than ten times those in Egypt. Also, the Emirate of Dubai has evolved its government transactions to electronic media. Furthermore, Dubai has established an electronic marketplace where all government agencies procure their needs in a totally transparent manner, with all of the benefits of vendor competition. This has allowed the eradication of inflated prices and agent fees in addition to hampering corruption. These examples prove that it is possible to benefit from advanced technology while preserving the local culture.
In general, Arab countries show exceptionally inadequate performance in knowledge acquisition and generation. In terms of knowledge acquisition, one indicator is the efficiency of literature translation. As indicated in the UNDP Report, the number of books translated in twenty-two Arab countries during the early 1980s is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek. Knowledge generation does not fare any better. Although Arabs constitute 5% of the world population, they produce only 0.8% of the literary and artistic literature.
The situation is particularly acute in science and technology. Arab countries spend less than 0.2% of their national budgets on science and technology research and development. This is more than ten times less than the amount that developed countries spend. The results become clear if we consider the publication of scientific research papers and/or patent registration. Results of research conducted in Arab countries are rarely published in international professional journals. The number of patents produced by Arabs is meager; during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the U.S. over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined.
Reform of education can play a central role in economic development. Education is critical to a nation’s growth because it develops the minds of the young to be useful citizens. It must include teaching the young how to think for themselves and to have confidence in their knowledge. This requires highly respected and motivated teachers who are well versed in communicating with their students. Teachers must be kept abreast of new teaching methodologies, scientific breakthroughs and literary masterpieces. They must also be motivated by awards and recognized for excellence. Thus, teacher preparation and continued training become integral parts of the necessary reforms. (488 words)
@Hasan Yahya, Michigan, April 2012
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