Egypt’s education minister, Tariq Shawqi, may be showing more initiative than is good for him.
The Arab World now stands at a crossroads where it could head toward a more pluralistic society or toward more extremism and violence.
The school system in Syria has failed to be a crucial incubator of social and cultural understanding—notably when it comes to Islamic education. The effects of this failure are keenly felt today as Syria suffers sectarian conflict and a surge of religious intolerance.
The changing culture of Egyptian students should be examined as the country’s youth continues to impact the political and social life. Education in Egypt is in need for a holistic reform, supporting the transition to democracy in Egypt.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, together with the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, held a regional conference in Kuwait City to consider the role of citizenship education in the Arab transitions.
The Saudi royal family’s current strategy of using co-optive and repressive techniques to hold onto power will not always be enough to limit the population’s calls for change.
Despite paying lip service to reform, many Arab nations’ education programs fail to prepare students to become contributing members of open, pluralistic systems.
While Qatar and Lebanon fared well in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, the study's reliance on business executive assessments casts doubt on the accuracy of its education rankings.
Furthering the cause of democracy in the Middle East requires realistic, pragmatic U.S. leadership to encourage reform and promote the development of civil society in the region.
Egypt must undertake a number of fundamental and difficult reforms to improve its overburdened, underperforming public university system.