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The man behind the future of education in Palestine

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Education Minister Sabri Saidam discussed his efforts to move Palestinian students away from rote memorization and toward creative and analytical thinking in addition to modernizing the curriculum.
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For more than 52 years, Palestinians completing 12th grade have faced a stressful, life-changing experience. Their admission to university has depended on how they do on a single, national exam. The “tawjihi,” the comprehensive matriculation exam designed to test knowledge and ability, has been a source of incredible pressure for students, their families and communities at large.

Young Palestinians cram for weeks before the exam and often lose sleep trying to be as prepared as possible, learning by heart the information that might be on the test. The results determine whether a student will be admitted to medical school or qualifies to study engineering. Thus, the test has become a huge part of Palestinian life.

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