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Positive messages?
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 27 - 09 - 2018

Various issues occupied the press this week including the start of the new academic year and the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
Writers shed light on the new educational system that is causing concern among most parents who have children in school.
The Ministry of Education this year introduced the tablet system this that will allow more than one million students to have their own tablet.
Khaled Al-Asmaii wrote that the new academic year started amid a sense of optimism, worry and expectation all at once, at a time when the minister of education is sending positive message that this year's plan is different from last year's.
Al-Asmaii wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram that some experts are casting doubt on the plan, causing parents to worry even more.
To that, Al-Asmaii had his own set of questions. “Is the database that the ministry is using sufficient, given that the present curricula is in need of change? Does the size of classrooms that can reach 120 students allow for the use of tablets? Have teachers been given enough training to use the tablets and did the ministry coordinate with Internet providers to provide their services to all schools?”
Karim Abdel-Salam chose to focus on a more general issue: the energy of youth in our society.
Abdel-Salam wrote that Egypt has huge sources of energy that are not being properly channeled. Thus, this untapped energy is playing a rather destructive role rather than being recruited to operate factories, desalinate water or provide houses with electricity.
"More than 70 per cent of our society is made up of youth. Their energy is wasted either in pursuing quick wealth or emigrating to a new society where they can work and achieve. And that may lead them to fail or fall prey to extremism and terrorist groups,” Abdel-Salam wrote in the daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
This surplus of energy is being wasted. The state has failed to direct it to a noble cause such as rebuilding the country or improving it, Abdel-Salam elaborated.
Young people are not capable, he added, of restoring the idea of building themselves via toil and sweat and to invest in themselves to build their own career and life.
Had the energy of youth been directed to work – regardless of the field – we could have seen millions of success stories of youths who are able to believe in themselves and reject any form of violence or extremism.
Mohamed Amin noted several differences in this year's UN General Assembly, namely the meeting between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and US President Donald Trump which he said was different from others because Trump is in his weakest position while Al-Sisi is supported by his achievements in fighting terrorism. He also has the backing of the Egyptian expat communities in the US who voluntarily decided to show their support.
“Also, the president called for punishing states that sponsor terrorism. It is clear that the president is talking about Turkey and Qatar. Can the UN impose sanctions on the two states? It is more important to name and shame sponsors of terrorism,” Amin wrote in the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Amin raised a few questions, including whether the US wants to categorise the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, whether Washington is too frightened of the MB as an international organisation, or wants to use the MB as a tool to scare the Middle East region. Does Trump's statement that the Gulf will not enjoy security for free mean that the US policy of blackmailing the Gulf will continue?
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