Schooling in Egypt vs. Schooling in Uzbekistan
An Egyptian friend reacted to our blog on schooling in Uzbekistan (seeÂ here) saying that schools under Mubarak werenâ€™t all that different.
When he was 10, five hours a day for months were spent not in the classroom, but preparing a dance show for Suzanne Mubarakâ€™s annual visit. This was not an isolated event. There would be such a visit almost every year, and a large chunk of the school year would be spent on this. Not as bad as picking cotton, though probably contributing not that much more to useful knowledge. (For more on Suzanne, seeÂ here.)
Not that things were that much better when they were in the classroom. Key assignments included writing letters toÂ President Mubarak thanking him for all his tireless work for Egypt; designing a logo for Mubarakâ€™s campaign in elections (no matter that the elections were already fixed); drawing scenes of loyal Egyptians gathering in the streets out of their love for Mubarak. You get the picture.
You might think things may have changed after Mubarakâ€™s fall. And yes they have. Now key assignments include writing letters to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, thanking them for their tireless work for Egypt. Bonus points are given toÂ those students who emphasize that this tireless work includes defending Egypt against foreign-financed revolutionaries and their puppet masters masquerading as NGOs.