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Wednesday , November 21 2018

O minister, any excuses?

Sheikha Suad Al-Sabah said in a television interview that she was born in Al-Zubayr, one of the districts of Basra and that she studied in one of the schools there before returning to her homeland in Kuwait.

However, the developers of the curriculum at the Ministry of Education saw something different. The textbook ‘Arabic is our Language’, that was meant for the eighth grade students, edition 2015 and 2016, was written by a group of professors headed by Makiya Ibrahim Al-Haj, together with Farouk Abdul Hamid Mukhaimar, Jeehan Fareed Khashouf, Ziad Bahgat Douami and Noura Khalid Al-Owayehan Al-Enezi, who mentioned that Suad Al-Sabah was born in the State of Kuwait in a traditional Kuwaiti environment where she inherited from her father the love for reading and poetry. They also said, she studied in Kuwaiti schools before joining the Faculty of Economics and political science at the Cairo University.

Now, what if a student, male or female, discovers a change in a well-known biography? What would he or she think about the level of education in Kuwait? How can such a big mistake made by five ‘professors’ be justified and continue year after year?

This is only a single evidence of the weakness of the curricula of education, the depletion of its materials and the poor level of curriculum developers. There are, of course, many other striking examples, but we have chosen this example, which cannot be denied as a prelude to the subject of today’s article.

For many decades, Kuwait has been a country which was most influenced in the world with what was going in Saudi Arabia whose clerics played a major role in shaping the thoughts of successive governments and individuals in our country, and in influencing what is moral or otherwise in our lives and the curricula of our schools.

These clerics of Saudi Arabia, as well as hundreds of visiting clerics and residents, and their lectures and meetings and their advice to our officials have played a negative role in changing many situations and public behaviors, voluntarily or forcibly through the government’s imposition of a lifestyle, and canceling various cultural and humanitarian subjects from our curricula and replacing them with excessive extremist materials.

The Muslim Brotherhood and their role of subversive and dangerous support in the consolidation of the Saudi example and making it a guide to follow the institutions of the state, the result of all that has been disaster, which we experience now which has reached a frightening deterioration at every level.

Just yesterday, it was announced that a great unprecedented transformation shall take place in the history of modern Saudi Arabia, where the Ministry of Education has begun to cancel dozens of textbooks from the curricula and destroyed millions of copies after they were withdrawn from the curriculum in line with the reform and plans adopted by the Saudi leadership, to counter extremism and terrorism.

The Saudi minister also called for the removal of all intellectual mines from the curriculum, which were a subject of criticism for years by international human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Watch which has not stopped demanding replacement by modern methods that are compatible with the world’s development in the educational, cultural and technological system, and distancing from the curricula that call for extremism and promote radical thought.

The Saudi Education Minister, on March 21, 2018, said that Saudi Arabia was reformulating its educational curricula to erase any influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and to remove anyone sympathetic to it from any position in the education sector. He said that the ministry is working to “fight extremist ideology by reformulating curricula, developing textbooks and ensuring that they are devoid of the Brotherhood’s approach.”

He also said, the ministry will prohibit books that contain the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood from all schools and universities and remove those who sympathize with them, their thought or their symbols, and expel them from any supervisory and teaching position. He said the development of education is one of the cornerstones of the vision of the Kingdom 2030.

Now, as long as we have imported a majority of our curricula from Saudi Arabia, and as long as they have abandoned that extremist ideology, there is no reason to hold on to the material and texts that have been given to us by them.

We had already said about two months ago that the Kuwait 2035 project will be meaningless if it is not accompanied by a revolution in our education systems. The Saudi Minister of Education confirms what we have said.

And now, does the Minister of Education have any excuse for continuing to delay the development of our curricula, and failure to clean up the ministry of the backward demons of ‘brotherhood’?

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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