Another Viewpoint on the MENA: Educational Systems in the Arab World

Dina Sarayra 2/14/2022
Arab Culture

There is no doubt that the Arab world works really hard for education. Whether it was to learn the Arabic language or provide the best Arabic teachers, all was done.

Arab Countries and the Importance of Education

The MENA, in other words, the Arab world, cares a lot about education. The idea of being educated is a big deal for the Arab society. It is important if you want to be wise and a person of strength. Knowledge is power, as they say. Arabs surely take that to the extreme whenever they can.

Education is very connected with stability. To be stable is something that is highly important for the Arabic family. A well-educated individual is one who can find a stable and reasonably-paying job. It also elevates the status of that person.

Arabic Education History

It was a bumpy road for the Arab students. This is because many of them didn’t receive the education they needed due to poverty. In other words, they didn’t have access to any form of knowledge-providing places.

Another aspect is that education didn’t get to the region until a certain time. Arabs had many discoveries. But after the invasion of the west, the coin flipped. This means that the major studies and advancements were out of the Arab world. At some point, all of these systems found their way to the Arab world.

Now, any person who wants to study the IGCSE, IB, or SAT, will be able to find a school. Of course, the international curriculum is not the only one available. It is also not the one that many parents until today avoid. That’s right; the national Arabic curriculum is what they like.

In fact, many private schools struggle to find students due to this reason.

What They Did About It

The Arab teachers didn’t stop there, however. They found a way to work towards a better future. The education for education was how teachers went by things. Simply put, public schools had majority of the students.

Public schools have an unfortunate reputation. These institutions simply don’t provide what a student needs. Unfortunately, this is because of many reasons. One of them is that there are not enough finances into these endless schools.

Which brings about an important question…

But why do parents insist on putting their children in these schools? Why the national program and not the international one? The answer is very simple. Parents need basic teachings which are both culturally and religiously interrelated. The national provides enough teachings for the Arabic language, unlike the international one. In fact, some international programs leave these subjects, religion and Arabic, optional. Even when they do teach them, it is not with the same depth.

Another important aspect is the expenses. Yes, the international system costs a lot. Simply because, well…it’s international.

Lastly, any student who studies in the international program will receive appreciation from foreign universities. This, of course, may not work with many Arab families due to a variety of obvious reasons.

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