CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Education has removed certain lessons from the educational curricula for primary schools it deemed could incite violence, or were too politically charged, according to a statement from the ministry.
Minister Moheb al-Rafei said during a tour in Marsa Matrough governorate that the ministry, in cooperation with Al-Azhar and historians, would review all educational curricula related to Islamic and historical figures, according to the statement.
Rafei added that historical anecdotes of Arab General Uqba Ibn Nafi were among those deemed to incite or glorify violence; previous material in textbooks described the general from the Umayyed dynasty as entering a village and killing residents as they slept, which Rafei said was untrue.
The ministry removed all words of “‘killing, war, and guerrilla,’ from the entire curriculum in all different grades,” the ministry added in a statement.
“The ministry should amend the lessons instead of deleting them,” said Abdel Ghani Zahra, a professor of Islamic History at al-Azhar University. He told The Cairo Post that the two characters of the lessons are important for the students to know about their civilizations as Uqba Ibn Nafi built the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kairouan city in Tunisia.
The removed parts and lessons were added to the curriculum more than five years ago, the Ministry’s Curricula Center chairperson Sanaa Ahmed Gomaa told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
She added that the curricula had been put together by specialist professors from the universities in cooperation with the ministry. She added that the center applied new measures and decided to remove such lessons and parts.
In February, video footage was circulated on the social media showing a group of Egyptian children mocking the Islamic State group (IS) in killing their hostages. The video showed that one of the student carrying a sword and smiling.
A violent scene was acted by students in Turkey stirred anger of some parents when a primary student played the role of sheep that was sacrificed by two other students saying “Allah Akbar,” Hurriyet Daily News reported Tuesday.
IS issued in March a video showing a child fatally shooting a Palestinian man who was accused by the group of spying for Israel. Another video was released in January showing another child, who could be less than 10 years old, fatally shooting dead two men accused of spying for Russia.