Silence of illiteracy

June 2, 2000

Hassan Bouzidi's assessment of education in Morocco is gloomy (World View, THES, May 5). He says that more than half the population and 90 per cent of rural women are illiterate. But he does not explain why. Is it their fault or that of the late king who kept his subjects illiterate?

Education systems in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia have been structured to keep students silent and not to think critically or to question teachers or the political set-up. Rote learning systems deaden minds. Sadly, societies that do not allow their people to question will not make progress. How long can this last in an age of knowledge and information technology?

Saad Al-Harran

Christchurch Small Business Enterprise Centre, New Zealand

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