Only in recent years have many westerners learnt about Islam’s contributions to science and education. Islam’s impact on the Muslim World lasted for many centuries and saw the establishment of the globe’s first universities.
In contrast, today, the Muslim world lags behind in education and only one Turkish university makes it to the world’s top 100 ranking universities.
Unless, there is a major shift in attitudes, the gap between the education in Muslim countries and the rest of the world will continue.
A recent study showed that the progress in science in the Muslims world remains weak and more should be done to raise the standards.
And in Universities, a greater ability to think creatively should be encouraged as it continues to lag behind in the Muslim world. Perhaps, subjects to include are: humanities, social sciences, languages, and communication.
Whilst professors do write papers, very few books are published and this is limiting the real-life output in Arab countries.
Nidhal Guessoum is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates writes:
“Universities are hubs of research, critical thinking, and lively debate, where the next generation is not only exposed to established facts and theories, but also learns to dissect ideas, pinpoint flaws, and help enrich and expand our knowledge base.”
The Arab-world faces challenges and Arab governments need to provide solutions so that their economies diversify and the educational system catches up to the modern era.
At a time when the Arab world faces turbulence, turmoil and regional tragedies, Faheem Hussain has a special interest in the Arab region to encourage Arab governments to develop an improved education system to incite change.
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