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

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

Chapter 23
PRIVATE AND FOREIGN SCHOOLS

PRIOR TO the Franco-Syrian political crisis of May 1945, private and foreign schools provided for the education of approximately 42 percent1 of the school enrollment of Syria, excluding the kuttabs, or ungraded Koran, schools. These schools include primary (with kindergarten), secondary, and vocational schools. No private or foreign teachers colleges or higher institutions exist, except the American Junior College at Aleppo. As this last was recognized as an institution equivalent to those institutions preparing for the second baccalauréat, it was not classified as a higher institution. Table 66 shows a comparison for 1944-45 of the number of institutions and enrollment in private and foreign schools with the public schools of their level.

In 1944-45 there were 685 public primary, secondary, and vocational schools with an enrollment of 92,598 students, compared to 306 private schools with an enrollment of 44,790 students, and 160 foreign schools with an enrollment of 23,887 students. Thus, public-school enrollment accounted for 57.4 percent of the total enrollment in these three types of schools, private schools accounted for 27.8 percent, and foreign schools for 14.8 percent.

One feature brought out by Table 66 is that, while the total enrollment of girls as compared with boys in the public schools was approximately in proportion of one to three, it was one to two in the private schools and nearly one to one in the foreign schools. Private and foreign schools were educating more girls than were public schools (25,892, as compared with 23,474). They were, however, educating considerably fewer boys (42,785, compared with 69,124). Not only was the proportion of girls schools to boys schools greater in the private and foreign schools, but there were a comparatively large number of coeducational private and foreign schools. None of the government schools, except the University, is coeducational.

Comparative figures are shown in the following tabulation:

____________________
1
This is the second highest proportion of private- and public-school enrollment in the six Arab countries studied here, the first being Lebanon.

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