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Colonial Education Systems, Influence on Middle Eastern Educational Development

Cultures and institutions of learning in the Middle East and North Africa began undergoing a gradual transformation in response to broader socioeconomic, technological, and geopolitical shifts dating from the 18th century. Models of education and training from Europe, and to a lesser degree Russia, were viewed as holding the key to attaining military power, scientific advancement, and economic development in a changing world order. New educational models were also considered better suited than indigenous schools for regulating and training a citizenry in the service of nation building.

The type of education that would transform learning in the region has been variously termed “colonial,” “imperial,” “modern,” “Western,” “secular,” “new order,” “new method,” or simply “new.” Whatever the label, colonial-modeled education systems profoundly altered social relations, the path ...

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