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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

XIII
EDUCATION
225
courses of lectures it can afford to provide are very sparsely attended, though it is worth noting that a distinguished Spanish Orientalist, Conte V. de Golanza, has succeeded in attracting half a dozen students from El Azhar to a course of lectures delivered by him in Arabic on Western philosophy, one year on Pascal and another year on Kant. A Government Commission got as far as the drawing up of a preliminary report on the creation of a State University, and the higher schools, if properly developed* should provide a sound working nucleus. Neither a good literary education nor a scientific education in such subjects as analytical chemistry or zoology or astronomy—and where are there better conditions for the study of the heavens ?—is to be had to-day, under Government auspices, in Egypt. A serious effort has yet to be made to provide for the study of Oriental languages or of Egyptian archaeology, though Cairo is the ideal centre for both. Commercial and technical schools were at last started about ten years ago in response to a public demand too long ignored. They have been a step in the right direction, but they, too, are already suffering from overcrowding and from the dearth of competent teachers.
One of the most disastrous results of the failure of Government to foresee or to keep pace with the rush for education that haw followed the development and growing prosperity of the country has been the multiplication of indigenouB " private " schools. They are called " private'' because, though they can send up their pupils for State examinations, they arc entirely free from all State control imleHH they receive a grant-in-aid. Many of these ** privates" schools are mere squalid speculations or worHc, for anyone can open a school in Egypt without the BlighteBt tent of character or educational qualifications. There has been, talk at times of making a law which would Bubjeet the opening of any school to a licence from the Ministry of Education, but so long as the Capitulations are in force it would be practically impossible to extend
Qest in it. But there has been no generous response from the Egyptian               1