Some Arab universities are creating “an army of the unemployed” by teaching subjects that have no future, says Mohamed Ould Amar, director-general of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO).
More than half a century after its establishment, ALECSO faces this and other challenges in Arab higher education, like being competitive in scientific research and specialties like artificial intelligence.
The Tunisia-based organisation aims to increase Arab governments’ spending on research and developing artificial intelligence strategies as priorities, Ould Amar said in an interview with Al-Fanar Media.
Ould Amar, who is a professor of economics at the University of Nouakchott, in Mauritania, said the organisation wants to unify school curricula across the Arab world.
“ALECSO has achieved a lot in translation and publishing,” he said. “It has issued several dictionaries and helped about 6,000 students graduate from its Khartoum International Institute for the Arabic Language.”
The Khartoum institute is one of several subsidiaries of ALECSO that are playing a major role in translation, authorship and research. Others are the Arab Centre for Arabization, Translation, Authorship and Publishing, in Damascus; the Arabization Coordination Bureau, in Rabat; and the Institute of Arab Research and Studies and the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts, both in Cairo.