Education in the ME

Talked with an Iranian immigrant at a party on Friday who tends to be more true-blue American than most Americans I know. Though I was tired from a lack of sleep the night before and had a few too many glasses of wine, I can probably paraphrase part of the gist of the conversation as being about the lack of education in the middle east. His solution is to endorse a greater degree of education in the region s.t. people are less prone to respond to events with their emotions and more likely to respond intellectually.

This article is about education in Syria:

" There are also many more students, more than the university system is equipped to educate. Of the roughly 200,000 college students, about 120,000 are at Damascus University. Syria's high schools meanwhile graduate another 120,000 young people a year, nearly 60 percent more than five years ago.

Those who pass the college entrance exam are assigned their fields of studies, to a large extent on the basis of their test scores. Score well, and a young person can study engineering or medicine. Students with lower scores find themselves assigned to the liberal arts.

Thus the outsized number of English majors - 4,000 in this year's freshman class - including a substantial number, according to students and professors both, who are not interested in the subject."