(Image credit: Egypt Today)
Egyptian school students study science, mathematics, arts, Arabic, and foreign languages, but should they be studying the writings of our ancestors?
In a recent interview with Al Hayah Al Youm, Egyptian archaeologist and former Minister of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass mentioned that he had met with the Minister of Education, Dr Tarek Shawki, asking him to send a letter to all art teachers in primary schools across the country, urging them to teach the 24 hieroglyphic characters to young students.
“A student can draw the chicken, the owl, or go home and write his mother, father, and brother’s names in hieroglyphs,” Hawass said. He also wondered why history could not be rewritten in a way that includes adventures to make it memorable and understandable. “I wrote 17 books about Tutankhamun, and on Wednesday, Nahdet Misr is publishing two books, one in Arabic and another in English, for children aged 8-12 years old,” he said.
“…a lot of factors come into play like media, education, tourism, antiquities, and the government makes an effort towards restoring and preserving ancient artefacts. We also need to think about ways that enable the country’s children to understand such a rich civilisation,” he added.
The matter at hand is not merely the written word, but it extends to the overall knowledge about our history and heritage that we need to possess as a nation. The introduction of hieroglyphs in schools would create intrigue and can encourage children to learn “without falling asleep” – as Hawass puts it, as well as raise the awareness of older generations about the lives that people led thousands of years ago on the very same land.