Egypt, Sudan cooperate to eradicate extremism at school curricula

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Feb 15, 2021

The Egyptian parliament on Feb. 7 referred to as for cooperation with Sudan on revising and ridding its faculty curricula of extremism.

Parliament member Farida al-Shobashi mentioned in parliament, “The Egyptian parliament encourages the Egyptian ministries of education and endowments to support Sudan in its unique experience in revising its school curricula to cleanse them of extremist content.”

Shobashi added, “Egypt has experience in combating extremism and confronting takfirist ideas. Therefore, Egyptian experiences must be transferred to Sudan to help it rid its school curricula of any content tainted by extremism.”

The People’s Initiative for Strengthening the Sudanese-Egyptian Relations additionally introduced its readiness to take part in revising the curricula.

Hatem Bashat, a member of the mentioned initiative, mentioned on the Feb. 7 parliament session, “The initiative called for reviewing the Sudanese curricula and removing any offensive material to Egypt in order to build generations in the two brotherly countries devoid of any destructive ideas.”

Numerous public figures from Sudan and Egypt had introduced on Jan. 28 the launch of the People’s Initiative for Strengthening Sudanese-Egyptian Relations.

Egyptian Minister of Education Tarek Shawki revealed on Feb. 6 that quite a lot of Arab international locations, together with Sudan, referred to as for implementing the Egyptian curriculum of their faculties. He mentioned an academic cooperation protocol was signed between Egypt and Sudan.

On Jan. 25, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok introduced the formation of a committee to evaluate and rid the Sudanese curricula — which was developed beneath ousted President Omar al-Bashir — of extremism.

Under Bashir, Sudan’s faculty curricula contained content material the Sudanese transitional authorities deemed to be tainted with extremism.

Sudanese Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments Nasruddin Mufreh mentioned in a press assertion on Jan. 27 that “Sudan decided to rid the school curricula, especially the Islamic education curricula, of the extremist and terrorist ideology to make it consistent with the general framework and goals of moderation.”

The US-based Al-Hurra web site revealed excerpts that contained extremist concepts within the Sudanese curricula beneath Bashir. Chief amongst these paragraphs got here in an Islamic tradition ebook taught to college students of the Sudanese Al Neelain University. The ebook included the phrase, “Belonging to atheistic schools such as communism, secularism and capitalism is tantamount to apostasy as far as Islam is concerned. If those who follow such ideologies claim to be Muslims, then they are hypocrites. … They are called to repent. Otherwise, they are treated as apostates while alive and even after they die.”

Sudan has resorted previously months to Egypt to develop its curricula in Sudanese universities. In October 2020, Egyptian Minister of Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar and his Sudanese counterpart, Gabriel Changson, signed a cooperation protocol within the discipline of upper training to cooperate in making ready research plans, curricula and textbooks in universities.

Also, in August 2020, Cairo University introduced the reopening of its department within the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to obtain Sudanese college students after a 27-year closure.

In a associated context, Sudanese journalist Mohamed Osman informed Al-Monitor, “The Egyptian-Sudanese cooperation in developing school curricula is ongoing, but it was scaled up in the wake of the dismissal of Brotherhood-affiliated President Omar al-Bashir.”

Osman added, “Egypt is keen to support Sudan in getting rid of the remnants of the Brotherhood’s rule, especially as far as education is concerned. This is especially true after the Brotherhood published its reactionary ideas in school curricula that included takfirist and extremist paragraphs.”

He continued, “Egypt was affected by the extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan, which would encourage unrest in Egyptian-Sudanese relations. Therefore, Cairo is trying to help Sudan cleanse its curricula of any Brotherhood ideas.”

Osman mentioned, “After the Sudanese revolution and the overthrow of Bashir, Egypt sought to send educational missions to Sudan and Egyptian teachers to Khartoum to ensure rapprochement between the two countries. Also, education officials in Sudan held meetings with officials in Egypt to benefit from the Egyptian experience in dealing with extremist Brotherhood ideas.”

In this vein, Sudanese Minister of Higher Education Intisar Soughayroun mentioned on Jan. 25 with Egyptian Ambassador to Khartoum Hossam Issa cooperation within the discipline of training between the 2 international locations.

In October 2020, Sudan’s Minister of Higher Education mentioned with the Egyptian Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa methods to cope with extremist concepts.

For his half, Sudanese journalist Fikri Abu al-Qassem informed Al-Monitor he “rejects any Egyptian-Sudanese cooperation in developing the Sudanese curricula.”

“Sudan is aware of its problems and crises in school curricula, and it insists on removing any residues of extremism from the Bashir era without any Egyptian interference,” he mentioned.

“Egypt wishes to participate in reviewing the Sudanese curriculum, not assist Khartoum in confronting extremism. It wants to control the Sudanese intellectually and boost Egyptian influence in Sudan,” Qassem added.

“Egyptian participation in reviewing school curricula in Sudan or any educational cooperation between the two countries affects the Sudanese identity. The Sudanese must take charge of education affairs without cooperation with Egypt or any country that spreads its ideas among future Sudanese generations,” he concluded.