Caretaker President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki, and Tunisian officials have high hopes for the creation of a Council that would “serve as a space of interaction with the civil society on the future of education in Tunisia and solves the problems encountered.” President Marzouki encouraged the creation of the Higher Education Council at an official ceremony held on July 22, 2013, that celebrated Knowledge Day. Additionally, the council would take on a role that provides a forum for “teachers or senior executives of the ministries with the participation of all parties” to engage in consultation and dialogue about the education sector.
At the ceremony, President Marzouki voiced his concerns regarding the education sector. He recognized the “brain drain and deterioration of the education quality due to the adoption of policies aimed to achieve high success”. He chided the “regression of moral values, the adoption of thoughtless reforms”, and condemned the primacy of political agendas in schools. President Marzouki saw these factors as the culprits that made the Tunisian universities “factories that produce jobless people.” Furthermore, Minister of Education Salem Labyedh drew attention to the need to revise the assessment system of national exams and correction–urging officials to reveal the poor results and shortcomings of the present system.
The Knowledge Day ceremony also took the opportunity to honor 38 successful young people, among them international competitors, who succeeded in the national and academic exams in different sections and specialties. The goal of the day’s festivities was to help highlight and promote education development successes. Increasingly, Tunisians are seeking ways to improve their education system.
Currently, Tunisia is under great political strain; which, consequently, has spilled into the education sector. Recently, Tunisian Education Minister Salem Labyedh has resigned under pressure from opposing parties. Tunisians await the governmental direction for further development and work to bring stability to their nation’s education system despite political feuding. The creation of the Higher Education Council could be part of the prescription that the people of Tunisia need in order to turn things around.
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