Elections and education: an unnecessary battle [Archives:2008/1209/Community]

November 20 2008

By: Maged Thabet Al-kholidy
[email protected]

The preparatory phase of the up-coming elections has started. The authorities have paid a good deal of attention to what is considered to be the basis of the elections' success and, as a means of effectively completing this first step in the electoral process, the Supreme Committee of Elections and Referendum has involved educators in voter registration. One may wonder why only educators have been selected for this mission, although it will clearly disrupt the educational process on a national level. This academic year was supposed to start in the middle of September and, by chance, it coincided with the middle of Ramadan. Students and teachers delayed going back to school, claiming that it was Ramadan, a month of fasting and worship. Of course, this did not only happen in one or two schools, but in almost all of them nationwide. No doubt, the authorities knew everything, but no action was taken. Instead of one week's holiday after the Eid, most schools -if not all of them- took a two-week holiday. Only after that did the academic year finally start. As usual, the school year began not seriously, but with what a teacher calls “revision”” for at least a week. And then