Monday, 25 Oct 2021 - 19 of Heshvan, 5782

New report on Saudi school textbooks shows further improvements

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But little progress has been made on gender since the previous report; Islamic studies denounce Polytheists and Infidels; and textbooks promulgate historical falsehoods, particularly in relation to Israel.

A new report on the Saudi Arabia school curriculum shows continuing trend of dramatic changes, improvements and moderation.

The report is based on a research by IMPCT-sen, an organization that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance. on the textbooks.

Over the last year, textbooks for the second semester of 2020/21 and the first semester of the 2021/22 school years have been moderated in several key areas, the report noted.

The greatest changes have been made to lessons dealing with Jews, Christians, non-believers, and violent jihad. Twenty-eight lessons featuring demonization of the other and religious intolerance were removed or heavily modified. An entire textbook unit on jihad was scrapped.

”While problematic material remains in Saudi textbooks, these represent profound changes in these categories,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff.

IMPACT-se’s last two reports on Saudi textbooks formed the basis of the US State Department’s findings in its 2020 Report on International Religious Freedoms.

Some highly volatile material remains in Saudi textbooks. Little progress has been made on gender since the previous report; Islamic studies denounce Polytheists and Infidels; and textbooks promulgate historical falsehoods, particularly in relation to Israel.

IMPACT-se has analyzed the Saudi curriculum on several occasions since the early 2000s, when it first began to garner international attention in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

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