Conflicts and authoritarianism are huge obstacles in the Arab world


Within a context of violence and continuing violations, the coalitions for the right to education propose regional networking, affirms Imad Sadi

Students at a secondary school in Kabul, Afghanistan, during the Global Action Week. Photo: UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

The Arab world gathers 250 million people with linguistic unity, fragmented however by their colonial past and huge economic disparities. As expressed by Imad Sabi, GCE, “a context photography of the Arab world involves necessarily the political conflicts in Palestina, Irak and Somalia, not forgetting the internal conflicts in Darfur, Sudan, which attributes a particular character to this region.”

The panelist, who participated in the seminar “The right to education in the global context” encouraged the audience to ask ourselves about the meaning of the right to education in Palestine, since during the Gaza Strip attacks in January 2009 the Ministry of Education and many schools were destroyed by the bombings. Furthermore, under Hammas’ control, the number of children out of school increased. This information clashes with the pride Palestine people express when telling this, feeling they are the most educated people in the world.

Likewise, the refugees in Libano cannot study, with the exception of those who can attend the UN schools. Moreover, the issues of discrimination and the survival of teachers have a grave impact on the right to education.

In addition to the issue of conflicts and their consequences, Imad identified obstacles in the authoritarianism and the lack of democracy in the countries of the region, and the fight for cultural development amidst the current economic and social crisis. He also mentioned that after September 11, the international cooperation projects focus on imposing education models and curricula; as a result, the struggles to reform education end up being framed within those guidelines.

On the other hand, he shared the experience of the ten coalitions for the right to education that were established within the sphere of the Global Campaign since 2008 and which have now gathered in a regional organization that promotes the slogan of interaction and connection between countries of the Arab world. Finally, he commended: “there is a sensitivity in Latin America and the Caribbean we should spread out across the GCE as a whole.”

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