Wanderlust…

The International Reporting (and Life) Adventures of Vivian Salama

Egypt Schools Deteriorate and Many Seek Education Abroad

Posted by vmsalama on December 16, 2012

Daily Beast (click here for original link)

by Vivian Salama

Maha Hussein clutches the hand of her 10-year-old son Moustafa as she bellows “Leave! Leave!” over and over again outside Egypt’s presidential palace. The boy peers over his thick eyeglasses, looking more bewildered than anything, as hundreds of people around him chant once again for the fall of the country’s regime.

“I brought [Moustafa] here because I am doing this for him,” said Hussein. “Freedom is about education, it’s about thinking, speaking, acting in a certain way. We have not won this freedom yet. Enough is enough!”

As Egypt’s tumultuous transition period approaches a new crossroad, the country’s deepening education crisis threatens to set hundreds of thousands of pupils behind their international counterparts. President Mohamed Morsi, elected by a slim margin in June during the country’s first post-revolution vote, has come under fire in recent weeks after taking measures that allowed him to clamp down on power and shield his administration from judicial oversight. The move prompted his opponents to declare the rise of another dictator, and inspired a new wave of protests, further paralyzing the Arab world’s most populous nation at a time when change for the better is more desperately needed than ever.

Schools have repeatedly been forced to close since protests began in January 2011, with some losing as many as 100 days over the past 18 months amid political and security disruptions. While no recent statistics exist for the number of students leaving Egypt, experts say older pupils are increasingly seeking education abroad in less traditional destinations given the heightening disquiet at home. (click here to read more)

photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

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