228 THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM . CHAP.
as Part I only 314 passed out of 849 who presented themselves on the English side from Government schools, and from the schools merely under Government inspection only 309 passed out of 2,020, whilst from private schools not under inspection only 264 out of 1,824, or barely 14 per cent. From two large " private " schools in Cairo that sent up over 400 candidates between them about half failed to reach the minimum in either arithmetic or algebra or geometry, and a good proportion did not even get a single mark. In the examinations known as Part II the results were very similar; 225 out of 438, or 51 per cent., passed from Government schools, whilst only 158 passed out of 527 from other schools merely under inspection, and 63 out of 236 from " private " schools not under inspection. Subject after subject was passed in gloomy review, and in their final conclusions the examiners, commenting on the year's " catastrophe," declared the root of the evil to lie, not only in the uncontrolled increase of numbers sent up by " private " schools, where the teachers are often " unqualified, ill-paid and occasionally corrupt," but also " in the lack of common-sense, in the absence of any reasoning power, in the dull, mechanical repetition of memorised facts, in the want of interest and practical intelligence "—defects only less marked in the Government schools than in the " private " schools, and apparently not confined to the pupils alone. The charts which accompany the report show the general decline in efficiency to have been going on steadily for years, whilst the numbers have been constantly going up. Can any more damning verdict be conceived on a system of which examinations have been the Alpha and the Omega ?
Egyptian education has, no doubt, been handicapped by the language question. Before the Occupation French was the chief teaching language. English has not yet entirely displaced it. As soon as the Anglo-French Entente of 1904 diminished the acute rivalry between French and English, the Egyptians bega^to agitate forponse from the Egyptian 1