With the rise of Islamists across the Arab world, there is a possibility that the new parties in power will update education curricula to reflect conservative Islamic beliefs.
A shift in the nature of Arab educational systems toward incentivizing technical and vocational training is one possible long-term solution to the problem of unemployment among the youth of the Arab world.
The Islamist ascent to power in parts of the Arab world has stirred up concerns about the effect this Islamist rise might have on education in the region.
Absent a good education environment, there is little room for the Arab world’s youth to turn into responsible citizens who can consolidate and stimulate social transformation to bring about more prosperous and free societies.
Unless Cairo acts to promote tolerance and understanding of various religious identities to truly build a democratic, pluralistic society, sectarian conflict will continue to plague Egypt.
Arab countries will only become economically competitive and reliably democratic if they start teaching youth to think critically and respect different points of view.
While reforming education in the emerging democracies of the Middle East may prove more challenging than political democratization, without it, the future of democracy will remain tenuous at best.
Education needs to be reformed in the Arab world to empower its citizens, despite resistance from governments and the religious opposition. Otherwise political and economic development will not be sustainable.
New democracies in the Arab world will have to commit to comprehensive education reform, since educated citizens are necessary for the successful consolidation of political democracy and economic liberalization.