Caid Essebsi calls for "more boldness" in education reform | Tunisia News Gazette

Caid Essebsi calls for “more boldness” in education reform

President Beji Caid Essebsi called on Friday on the celebration of the Knowledge Day at the Palace of Carthage, for “more boldness” in the reform of education and the higher education and scientific research system.

“Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the world will help Tunisia adopt more effective policies to rehabilitate education and establish a comprehensive scientific approach that links education, higher education, vocational training and the need for equitable economic development,” he said.

Educational institutions are called upon, he added, to develop the student’s potential and ability to think, create and open up to the world, sciences and cultures “instead of anarchic learning and cramming.”

Besides, the President of the Republic stressed the need — in the reform of the education system — to preserve and further promote the principle of equal opportunities offered by free and modern public schools, so that the private education will become “a complement and not an alternative.”

“Knowledge economy and competition over intelligence are today the driving forces of power in the world. They are connected to the capacity of a State to rehabilitate its education system and to open up to the world to gain experience, train skills and encourage them to return to the country to participate in the battle for development,” he pointed out.

In this regard, he affirmed the State’s commitment to grant scholarships to the laureates so that they can continue their studies in the most prestigious American and European universities.

Beji Caid Essebsi also stressed the need to rehabilitate schools in all regions, considering it “unacceptable and unfair that some of our children today lack drinking water in schools or suffer from the lack of transportation or quality of service in boarding schools and university halls.”

Higher Education and Scientific Research and acting Education Minister Slim Khalbous underlined that participants in the national dialogue on the education and higher education reform had been unanimous about the need to improve the quality of education, an objective which he believes should elevate the place of the teacher and the educator in society and improve his cognitive and pedagogical level.

“We have worked with the Tunisian General Labour Union on the revision of the dates of school holidays and the calendar of the courses from the beginning of the school year in order to harmonise them with the university calendar,” he specified.

He also deplored the lack of budget allocated to development, “which hinders the rehabilitation of educational institutions, especially those lacking clean drinking water and sanitation, and affects the health of pupils threatened with contagious diseases.”

A Cabinet meeting is for next week to discuss a joint programme between the ministries concerned to equip schools with the necessary amenities, he pointed out.

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives Mohamed Ennaceur, Government members, MPs, political party leaders, representatives of national organisations and several teachers and laureates.

Source: TAP News Agency

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