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Friday, September 30, 2011

Human Rights In The Kingdom's Education System

I saw an article in the local paper called Arab News, Sept 7, 2011 issue about efforts to introduce the subject of Human Rights in the Kingdom's higher and general education syllabuses.
Err, what?
This is a very sensitive topic to discuss specially here, but nevertheless, the National Society of Human Rights based in Jeddah said that efforts are on going so that before 2011 ends it will be part of the education system in every school and university in Saudi Arabia.
However, debates are ongoing too about having it as a separate subject or a part of an existing subject. Having it separately would mean a better impact to the students the report said. It was mentioned also that teaching about human rights at early levels of education might improve the behavior of human beings (e.g. locals) and spread culture of tolerance and respect for others (yeah, right!)
This issue is not new in the Kingdom, two years back a workhop consists of lawyers was held in Riyadh that also called for introducing the subject in the higher education syllabuses, and was already introduced in some universities as a primary subject for undergraduate students and as an optional one for postgraduate students. It was also introduced in military colleges at the same time.
But here's the catch, the plan to teach human rights in the Kingdom's schools and universities were not approved, and to quote "as it was cosidered not in line with the religious and social nature of Saudi society."
Need I say more?

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