- Life Style
A statement by former IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei, in which he noted that education would be among his top priorities if he becomes president, led to a debate between experts and people interested in the educational field.
One group viewed ElBaradei’s remarks as logical, while others thought they denoted his lack of a political agenda.
Mohamed Abul Ghar, the founder of the 9th of March Movement for University Independence, said that ElBaradei’s remarks are evidence of his logical way of thinking. “Any president who does not consider education a national interest and the sole means of progress in this country does not deserve to be the president of Egypt or of any developing state," he said. Abul Ghar pointed out that Egypt's education budget has dropped from 5.5 percent to 3.4 percent over the past few years, while the Ministry of Interior's budget has increased.
Abdel Moneim al-Mashat, former head of the Political Research and Studies Center at Cairo University, said that education in Egypt is facing a real crisis, and that this issue must be a priority for political parties, including the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). Al-Mashat said he finds nothing odd in ElBaradei delivering such a statement, since he is a Nobel Laureate. He argued that other countries, like Malaysia, India, and China, witnessed progress after developing their education systems, and linked backward thinking to the deterioration of Egypt's educational process, either on the syllabus or student level.
On the other hand, Mahmoud Alam Eddin, head of the Journalism Department at the Faculty of Mass Communication at Cairo University, called ElBaradei's words “high-flown," saying, “Anybody can talk about education, everybody knows that it is the top priority for Egypt’s future. But ElBaradei did not mention what can be done to improve it."
“He suddenly realized that he does not possess a political agenda, so he started to shift his focus to everyday issues that touch every Egyptian family, and that has been typical of ElBaradei since he returned to Egypt," Alam Eddin asserted.
Alam Eddin said that in order to persuade the public, ElBaradei must present a clear strategy.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.