Inaugurating new classrooms in the same old school every now and then is not an indication that we are offering Egyptian students better quality education! The regular expansion of schools, an achievement in which the Egyptian government takes great pride, can also be perceived as the building of a mental barrier, since we continue to teach the same obsolete syllabus to our students. Increasing the number of poorly educated graduates, taught an outdated curriculum that is managed by an old-fashioned learning mechanism is certainly incrementing our educational challenge.
Egypt’s educational system can be likened to “a big happy family”; it accommodates more students with the goal of engaging youngsters in a mechanism that will absorb their energy, instead of truly reducing illiteracy. Meanwhile, by applying a policy of hiring more teachers to reduce unemployment and redecorating schools to boost the revenues of contractors, we are busy implementing this complex mechanism, neglecting to consider whether it offers our students the quality of education that is needed in the twenty-first century.
Egypt needs a completely fresh mindset not only in the educational sphere, but also in all other state domains! The government’s clear mission should be to prioritize our budget and assign clear responsibilities, supported by handing over large portions of our national projects to the private sector. The government’s current operating philosophy, procedures, and the cadres it has relied on for decades, are no longer relevant to the present era; as a result, our errors and mistakes are increasing.
“Business as usual” summarizes the Egyptian state’s thinking pattern. The Egyptian government is always interested in ensuring that the machine is working; thus, it keeps fueling it with substantial resources, never questioning whether the outcomes are what Egypt truly needs today. The statesmen operating the machine will never discern the drawbacks and limitations of the machine’s design or work on correcting them; they are too afraid of slowing it down and being held accountable for output shortages.
Bureaucracy and corruption are strengthening Egyptian government cadres, who are the real obstacles to realizing our country’s full potential. By working on accommodating more students in schools that lack basic discipline and good teaching programs, the government is only creating an even messier educational environment. Meanwhile, the state, happy with its regular refurbishing of our schools, will end up with polished concrete structures that graduate mediocre students.
Technology and innovation could easily help the government to reach more students online, teaching them an advanced curriculum, thus reducing the state’s expenditure by decreasing the need for new classrooms. However, these developments will never happen as long as corrupt bureaucrats are directing our country’s policies.
Egypt’s clear objective should be to provide quality education to our students that will enable them to serve our country better in the future. A completely new mindset is needed if Egypt wants to establish a modernized educational mechanism. This will require replacing capacitated, reckless, corrupt bureaucrats with truly professional cadres who will work on transforming the current rusty system into a new, modernized system that can truly benefit our fellow citizens.
The Egyptian state needs to reset its entire system. The tasks that we have been good at doing for decades are not the ones that our country crucially needs; they can easily be replaced with other, more valuable, endeavors. A country’s educational system is a symbol of how the state is governing the nation – but it is also a key driving force in all spheres; not applying the most intelligent mindset and up-to-date technology to the field of education will negatively affect all other national spheres.