Education in Arab Countries of the Near East: Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon

By Roderic D. Matthews; Matta Akrawi | Go to book overview

mean when translated into educational terms? What does it mean in terms of schools, curriculum, and methods? How can education be so shaped as to help modify that Arab tradition without losing its essence? How can it help introduce the best in Western civilization while avoiding some of the pitfalls? And how can it work for the integration of the two so as to create a new whole which shall operate in the lives of the Arabs in the future? The problem can only be posed here by stating the need for an educational philosophy that will guide Arab educators in the future. Things so far have not progressed much beyond the mere raising of these questions, but as the Arab world and Arab educators attain greater maturity, they are likely to receive greater attention.


SUMMARY

In summary the following points of significance to education in the Arab world are indicated.

The Arab world is now nationally conscious. This consciousness is increasing and in the past has taken the form of a struggle for the liberation of the Arabs from Turkish rule and later from Western domination. This objective, now largely achieved, is being directed toward establishing some unity of policy among Arab states, designed as a defense measure for the preservation of national independence. At the same time nationalism now has the constructive task of developing the resources of the countries and introducing widespread reform.

Democratic institutions have been established. They need to be strengthened by a more enlightened electorate which will be more conscious of its rights and responsibilities.

The Arab world can be said to have unlimited opportunities for economic development. Large tracts of cultivable land running into millions of acres remain unexploited and those parts that are now under cultivation can be exploited more efficiently by irrigation, the conservation and utilization of water resources, and the utilization of water power. There is a great opportunity for future development for generations to come. The same may be said of certain types of industrial development and of the development of oil resources. The small population, sparsely distributed (except in Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine), may, for the time being, set limits to this development, but when health conditions are improved, a steady rise in the population is noticeable, which in the long run, may bring back to the Near East its concentration of human power. In the field of agriculture and industry, as in the field of health, education can play a great role.

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