Saudi intellectuals discuss curricula

FP Blogger at Large MEMRI  The following are excerpts from several programs in which Saudi intellectuals discuss the Saudi education system. They were aired on LBC TV on November 5, 2006, and on ‘Ein TV on August 13, 2006.  LBC TV, November 5, 2006: Saudi journalist Hussein Shubakshi: When a Saudi researcher published a serious ...

By
605551_clip_1332_0_15.jpg
605551_clip_1332_0_15.jpg

FP Blogger at Large
MEMRI

FP Blogger at Large
MEMRI

 
The following are excerpts from several programs in which Saudi intellectuals discuss the Saudi education system. They were aired on LBC TV on November 5, 2006, and on ‘Ein TV on August 13, 2006. 

LBC TV, November 5, 2006:

Saudi journalist Hussein Shubakshi: When a Saudi researcher published a serious study about the curricula, and about using astronomy to observe the [Ramadhan] moon, he was sentenced to thousands of lashings. This demonstrates clearly how much we accept dialogue.

I would like to focus on a very important point regarding the training of the teacher to deal with students. There are, of course, great fears, which in many cases are justified, about the “covert curriculum,” which brings the teacher’s personal convictions into the classroom, as well as out of the classroom, when he deals with a certain student or groups of students during their breaks. He passes on to them his convictions, views, books, booklets, and cassettes, which contain many views that are considered “extremist” – or, at the very least, different views that involve an extremist framework, and which are packaged in a political wrapping. This is very dangerous.

Interviewer: Is this done beyond the framework of the curricula?

Hussein Shubakshi: Yes, it is done out of the classroom, but of course, under the mantle of education and “extra knowledge.” This way, one can inject a lot of poison, as indeed was the case for many years. One aspect of this phenomenon was the restriction of the liberty that was traditionally available for extra-curricular student activities. I myself was in the scouts and on the school’s soccer team. I participated in school plays and other artistic activities – all within the official educational framework. All this has stopped. Today, such activities are fought against.

[…]

Saudi university lecturer Nasser Al-Hanini: Every society has marginal groups… How large is the group that perpetrated the bombings, compared to the number of our youth? In addition, the ideological writings of this group, which committed killings and bombings, are not part of the curricula at all. They have different writings. They published their research on the Internet, and everybody is familiar with them. They have nothing to do with the curricula or with the extra-curricular activities.

View the entire transcript.

The Middle East Media Research Institute contributes a regular series of posts about media in the Middle East for Passport.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.