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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

-226                    THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM                CHAP.
•
it to foreigners, and those Egyptians who had good reasons for evading its provisions would, as th$y constantly do in regard to many dubious avocations, shelter their interests behind the names of men of straw enjoying foreign protection. As things are to-day, low fees and no inquiries as to the boy's capacity or antecedents appeal too often to the ignorant Egyptian parent.
On the other hand, many Egyptian parents of the better classes have discovered by painful experience that if the intellectual training in tfte Government schools is poor, the training of character has been still more neglected. For that reason they prefer to send their children to the " foreign" schools—especially to the French schools—where a higher moral standard and far better discipline are combined with more thorough teaching. These institutions receive large subventions from their Governments, and they are entirely independent of the Egyptian Ministry of Education, whose officers are not entitled to set foot inside their doors. The only British institution of that sort is the excellent Victoria College in Alexandria, which never received any assistance from the British Government, and owes its existence—still only too precarious—to the public spirit of the community and the generosity of a few munificent patrons.
No doubt, even if much better provision had been made for Western education in Egypt, many Egyptians would have desired to complete their studies in Europe. But, in the absence of such provision, Egyptians who want to give their sons a really good education are almost compelled to send them abroad, and to send them at art age when they are dangerously accessible to the worst rather than to the best influences of European surroundings entirely alien to them.
It may be said in extenuation of the present educational system that we did not create it, but found it already in existence at the time of the Occupation. It dates back in part to Mehemet All and his French advisers, and his primary object undoubtedly was, just as ^s Macaulay'srous response from the Egyptian               1