- Cairo: It is a small photograph of a young man on a page in an Egyptian primary-school textbook. But to many watching closely, it is a big step for education in the Arab world.
- Khalid Saeed was the 28-year-old Egyptian computer programmer dragged out of an Internet café and beaten to death by Alexandria police after he posted a video of two of them allegedly divvying up drug money after a bust.
- The Facebook page commemorating his life and expressing outrage over his 2010 death eventually mushroomed into the movement that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak.
- Khalid Saeed’s story will be taught to all second-graders (seven and eight-year-olds) in Egypt, marking a modest attempt at curriculum reform in an otherwise stodgy educational system.
Education Minister Shai Piron announced the cancellation of national standardized tests (NST) in the upcoming school year.
The reason given for the decision was that the release of the test results to the public exerted undue pressure on students, raised concerns as to the tests’ integrity and harmed teachers’ motivation.
"The standardized tests are important and valuable evaluation tools, which we should continue to use in the future, however they cannot be carried on with in their present format," said Minister Piron. "The current form of the tests harms schools, teachers and students," he added.
PAKISTAN: Study reflects school textbooks need to be free of religious discrimination
The study found that 22 school textbooks contain discriminatory material towards minorities and other countries, as well as making insulting remarks against minority religions and including distorted historical facts.