CAIRO: “Egypt’s educational system reflects excessive nationalism and a lack of respect for diversity,” the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights under (EIPR) issued a study called “Nationalism and Homogeneity in Contemporary Curricula” Wednesday.
The educational curriculum was described as “superficial” and “simplistic” in EIPR’s study, which focuses on the history and national textbooks prepared for third year of preparatory schools and third year of high schools during the academic years of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014.
The study also criticized the Ministry of Education’s “inflexibility” in the past few years; history textbooks used during former President Hosni Mubarak’s era are the same books used during the two years following the January 25 Revolution in 2011.
“Histories of ethnic, religious, or national minorities do not exist in Egypt’s educational curricula,” the study read, adding that regional and international history are not highlighted.
EIPR further called on the ministry to consider Egypt’s international obligations in regards to the right to education while making these changes and to eliminate the simplified curriculum.
The ministry recently announced at least 30 textbooks from the curricula that will be amended in the upcoming days, according to several media outlets.
Minister of Education Mahmoud Abou el-Nasr announced that discussions about politics among students and teachers are not allowed in schools anymore and the ministry seeks to improve Egypt’s educational system as soon as possible, he said in a Wednesday phone interview on ON TV channel.
Abou el-Nasr said Egypt’s new constitution puts education and health among its top priorities and in the next school year, all students will have school meals, costing the ministry 8 billion EGP ($1.12 million,) which will increase the attendance rate over 97 percent.