O Ministry of Education... Is this logical?

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O Ministry of Education... Is this logical?

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

Last year, we commented on grade 12 curriculum: Literary issues. We said that the book refers to celebrations marking the birth of Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas) as the “Feast of Newroz”. It also refers to the Feast of Pentecost as the “Feast of the Festival”, which marks the birth of John the Baptist (referred to in the book as Yahya).

The secretary general of the Ministry of Education, the office of the minister of education (His Excellency Omar Al-Razzaz) and the director of the curricula called me at the time. They said: “Be reassured. We will fix the mistakes in the text based on the instructions of his excellency the minister.” With the start of this scholastic year I revised the book following the proposed correction. To my surprise, the paragraph related to these feasts has been deleted… the ministry, thus, “made a resounding achievement” and eliminated the mistakes altogether.

Had it not been better for the ministry to correct the mistakes, rather than eliminate the feasts altogether? Can’t students get familiarized with the feasts celebrated by the others unless they are mistakenly listed? Didn’t we say that reform starts with education? Hasn’t the right time come to address a civilized change of the school books? By adopting this exclusive style, aren’t we forcing the students to shun national curricula and to seek foreign curricula which are highly reputed by parents?

Look at the enclosed photo and spot the difference between the 2017 and 2018 editions… Isn’t regression rather than reform?

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