Education

Must Read

FP: The Madrasa Myth

Authors: Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das, C. Christine Fair, and Asim Ijaz Khwaja

Four authors argue that in the fight to save the country's next generation, more should be done towards building up mainstream and affordable private schools in Pakistan.

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The Jamestown Foundation: The Father of the Taliban: An Interview with Maulana Sami ul-Haq

Author: Imtiaz Ali

In the Jamestown Foundation’s Spotlight on Terror series, an interview with Maulana Sami ul-Haq, the director and chancellor of Pakistan's madrassa, Darul uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, where many of the top Taliban leaders, including its fugitive chief, Mullah Omar, attended. It is widely believed that the madrassa was the launching pad for the Taliban movement in the early 1990s, which is why Sami ul-Haq is also called the "Father of the Taliban."

See more in Terrorism; Pakistan; Education

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Oxfam: Free, Quality Education for Every Afghan Child

According to this report from Oxfam half of the children in Afghanistan still do not go to school despite a 500 per cent increase in enrolments in the last six years. This briefing paper outlines some of the key concerns, and proposes a plan for not only increased funding, but also reforming budget allocation and planning within the Ministry of Education and amongst other actors in the education sector.

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WashPost: This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

Author: Nina Shea

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, a 2004 Saudi royal study group recognized the exigency to reform educational material in Saudi Arabia's public school curriculum. The study found that the Saudi public education system advocates a problematic legacy in their religious curriculum that condones violence, repression, and intolerance. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, made public claims that the Saudi curriculum had been recently reviewed and revised to meet the needs of a more modern education. However, recent copies of Islamic Saudi textbooks that have been translated into English reveal a lack of modernization, which contradicts assertions of Saudi educational reform.

See more in Education; Religion; Saudi Arabia

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Wired: The Mandarin Offensive

Author: Michael Erard

Mandarin Chinese is already the most popular first language on the planet, beating out English by 500 million speakers. And it's the second-most-common language on the Internet. Now, just as China requires students to learn English, Beijing wants to make Chinese the must-take language for English speakers - and everyone else.

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News Release

U.S. Education Slipping in Ranks Worldwide, Earns Poor Grades on CFR Scorecard

The U.S. education system is not as internationally competitive as it used to be; in fact, the United States has slipped ten spots in both high school and college graduation rates over the past three decades, according to a new report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations' Renewing America initiative, which examines the domestic foundations of U.S. power. U.S. national security is directly linked to issues such as education because shortcomings among American workers threaten the country's ability to compete with other countries and set a compelling example internationally.

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Op-Ed

Beating Boko Haram

Author: Isobel Coleman
Foreign Affairs

Isobel Coleman and Sigrid von Wendel explain why Boko Haram has targeted Nigeria's schools and offer recommendations for how the Nigerian government can more effectively fight the rising insurgency.

See more in Nigeria; Education