Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1413, (11 - 17 October 2018)

Ahram Weekly

The cart before the horse?

 6 October Victory
6 October Victory

Various pressing issues engaged the press this week including the anniversary of the 1973 war and reforming education.

Hussein Ramzi Kazim wrote that the 6 October victory showed people around the world the ability of the Egyptian fighter to confront aggression and regain his usurped land.

He noted that one of the most important lessons learned from the war was that it helped the public regain its trust in the Egyptian army, changed military strategy and proved that fighters, not their weapons, are what is important.

“The October war was an outstanding military victory. In addition, it was a war for the sake of peace, a just and comprehensive peace that guarantees the security and legitimate rights of the Arab region,” Kazim wrote in the official daily Al-Ahram.

However, he added, while 6 October proved the importance of cooperation among Arab states, the present Israeli manoeuvers to evade its commitments to peace require a united Arab stand. 

Mohamed Kamal wrote in the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that he remembers the proverb ‘cart before the horse’ whenever he reads any discussion about educational reform in Egypt. He pointed to a previous article he wrote in the same newspaper on education in India where a moderate education is offered to all school students while a high-level education with international standards is provided to privileged students.

“In Egypt, we focused on the same education for everyone and ignored the privileged. Even when we tried to provide quality education, we aimed to offer it immediately and to everyone,” he wrote.

Thus, Kamal added, it is important that when we consider reforming education, the state should provide high-standard education via governmental schools and universities to the privileged. In short, he concluded, we should not ignore the cart, but in the meantime, we should invest in the horse because it pulls the cart.

Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Sherif focused on an issue related to education: the family bookshop project.

Al-Sherif wrote that the project was initiated in 1994, offering reasonably priced books for families and allowing middle and low-income families to earn books under the slogan ‘Reading for All’.

“What happened to the family bookshop project? Did it age or die? Should we search for an alternative? Did the officials give up? Many questions are raised and are all waiting for a transparent answer,” he wrote in the daily Al-Youm Al-Sabei.

Al-Sherif explained that the plan started facing difficulties after the 25 January revolution which reveals an important matter: national projects are still linked to persons rather than to institutions. Given that it was supported by Susan Mubarak, he elaborated, when she could not support it anymore, it started facing problems and difficulties.

He concluded in his regular column by suggesting that the Ministry of Culture, which cannot offer the plan financial support, make it a public issue and ask state bodies to support it because reading in general and the plan in particular are not luxuries but a basic matter that cannot be given up.

By Makhlouf, Al-Masry Al-Youm

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