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Unconventional solutions
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 06 - 12 - 2018

Education is an issue that engages the press every week. This week was no exception.
Mohamed Kamal focused on whether the use of computer tablets in classes will benefit students. Kamal wrote that improving education requires transparency in looking at the issue and reaching unconventional solutions.
In reference to a long report prepared by The Economist on education and technology, Kamal pointed to the fact that most developing countries reached the target set by the UN: to have all children finish their primary education by 2015. However, he added, another study by the World Bank showed that half of all students in developing countries in the fourth primary year cannot read simple words and more than three-quarters cannot read sentences.
The Economist ascribed the problem to teachers, since only seven per cent are qualified to teach reading and writing and concluded that raising their salaries is not likely to solve the problem.
“While technology can contribute to resolving the issue, it is not enough on its own. Allocating tablets for students will not lead to a magical solution. Technology is not an alternative to a good teacher. It is important to convince the teacher of the importance of technology and teach him how to use it,” Kamal wrote in the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Al-Dandarawi Al-Hawari said that both well-educated and simple citizens alike have noticed the deterioration of education with sadness and hail other educational experiences like the Japanese, German, Canadian and Singaporean.
However, Al-Hawari added, when Minister of Education Tarek Shawki decided to save education in a scientific way that benefitted from all successful educational systems, a group which invests in destroying the minds of Egyptian children and youth fought against him.
“All parents complain about the crammed curricula and private tutoring that blackmails families. But when the state hurries to save them from these encroachments on the minds of Egyptian children and youth via a modern educational system, we find that the parents resisted or moaned bitterly about it,” Al-Hawari wrote in the daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.
He said the new system, applied to the first secondary year, is likely to uproot all the malicious tumours in the body of the educational process and return Egypt to the pioneering and enlightening status that it lost 30 years ago.
Meanwhile, like several other writers, Farouk Guweida expressed his concern about what is going on in Paris.
Guweida wrote that two weeks ago, some youths who wore yellow vests and called themselves ‘Yellow Vests' took to the streets in small numbers that later increased to 75,000 demonstrators who tried to destroy the most famous landmarks in the ancient city.
The French president, Guweida added, warned of the violence this group is showing and that it might move to other French cities and possibly to other European cities.
“The global economy is, without doubt, passing through a crisis and that there are other stifling crises awaiting various states as a result of wars that were waged for years and that created millions of migrants and refugees. These are burdens imposed by wrong policies that produced millions of victims. Now is the time to settle accounts,” Guweida wrote in his regular column in the official daily Al-Ahram.
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Social media grabbing the attention of Egyptians
By Mohamed Abdel-Latif, Al-Youm Al-Sabei


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