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On International Student’s Day… Films that discussed the problems of education in Egypt

Cinema is a mirror that reflects what is going on in reality. It is a tool to shed light on important issues related to members of society, in an attempt to reshape human consciousness and bring about a change in the behavior of society. In a large number of its films, Egyptian cinema has been keen on addressing students’ lives, issues and problems of education in Egyptian society. Some of the films were intended to convey an important message, shed light on issues that the education system suffers from, or talk about a negative phenomenon taking place in the school corridors. Some of them content themselves with presenting the problems of education and students from a satirical standpoint, without finding radical solutions to them. On the occasion of the celebration of International Student Day or International Student Day on November 17, let us review with you the artworks that discussed the most prominent problems of education in Egyptian cinema.

My beautiful Teacher 1971

The film monitors the bad behavior of high school students, and their moral corruption in an important and dangerous stage of her life, which is the stage of adolescence. Through “Nadia” a chemistry teacher, who moves to work from Mansoura to Cairo, and she suffers both problems with the troubled class students, who she tried to tame and modify their behavior, but they sign between her and her sister “Aisha” when they convince “Aisha” of the existence of a relationship between her sister and her fiancé. A group of students kidnap “Nadia” and try to attack her if the police had not arrived. In order to preserve their future, she refuses to accuse them of kidnapping her, so their behavior changes and she finally succeeds in taming them. The film starring Hind Rostom, Hussein Fahmy, Saeed Saleh and Salah Al-Saadani, written by Rashad Hegazy and Mohamed Mustafa Sami, and directed by Ibrahim Emara.

Hooligans School 1973

The film presented one of the problems of education in Egypt, which is represented in the morally corrupt and troubled students, who do not care about their studies or their future. Ms. Afaf begins to deal with the students in a different way from the previous teachers, until she succeeded in disciplining and controlling them, and gained their trust after giving each of them an opportunity to develop his talent, and was able to make them study their lessons. The film starring Abdel Moneim Madbouly, Mervat Amin, Nour El Sharif, Mohamed Awad, George Sidhom and Youssef Fakhreddine, written by Ali Salem and directed by Hossam El Din Mostafa.

Peasant at the American University 1998

The film discusses in a comic framework the life of university students and the fundamental differences in their character and behavior, and touched on some social and political issues that concern them, as well as the problems of foreign education in Egypt. Through the story of “Khalaf Al-Dahshoury Khalaf,” a student from Upper Egypt receives a scholarship to study at the American University, and there he meets a different class of people, which changes his view of things. The film stars Mohamed Henedy, Mona Zaki, Ahmed El Sakka, Hani Ramzy, Ghada Adel and Tariq Lotfi, written by Medhat El-Adl, and directed by Wahid Hamed.

Principal Salahuddin 2000

The film sheds light on some of the problems of the education system in Egypt, such as administrative corruption in private schools, the phenomenon of bullying and students’ abuse of teachers. And that is through “Salah al-Din Ashour”, a failed young man who did not obtain a secondary certificate, yet he finds himself as a headmaster of Ashour’s schools, succeeding his father. He leaves the responsibility to the corrupt school agent who runs the school for his own account. The film also touched on the low educational level of students, and the lack of interest in appointing specialized and qualified teachers. The film starring Alaa Wali Al-Din, Hisham Selim, Ahmed Helmy and Hassan Hosni, and written and directed by Sherif Arafa.

The Student Boss 2004

The film reviewed educational corruption in private universities, whether the students’ behavioral and moral corruption and their disregard for the importance of education, or the administrative corruption of the university president and employees. And that is through the officer “Basiouni” who is assigned to hide among the students of a private university, with the aim of revealing the drug trade among the students, only to discover that the university is the main driver of that trade. The film stars Karim Abdel Aziz, Ghada Adel, Ramez Jalal, Mohamed Ragab and Maha Ahmed, written by Bilal Fadl, and directed by Wael Ihsan.

Ramadan Mubarak Abul Alamein Hamouda 2008

The film touched on the problems of education in a funny, comic way, by comparing a public school in the countryside and a private school in the city. Through the personality of Professor “Ramadan” who refuses private lessons and does not care about money, and is used to discipline and respect for students in his first school. However, he is surprised by the different treatment of students in the second school, where chaos spreads, and the teacher loses his prestige and his role fades in light of the students’ dependence on private lessons. The film also touched upon the issue of illiteracy for the elderly, during its events. The film starring Mohamed Henedy, Sirin Abdel Nour, Ezzat Abu Auf, Sirin Abdel Nour and Amir Al-Masry, written by Youssef Maati, and directed by Wael Ihsan.

All three are liars 2010

The film discussed an important issue that is the direct cause behind many of the problems facing education in Egypt, which is the method of education that relies on blind memorization without understanding or realizing. And that is through the character of the first “Najiba” in high school, who is forced to work as a teacher for the primary stage. Because of her wrong study method and upbringing, she influences female students to become copies of her. Until she pays attention to herself and decides to become a responsible personality and instills in the students the necessity of understanding before blind memorization. The film starring Yasmine Abdel Aziz, Salah Abdullah, Hala Fakher, Nidal Al-Shafei and Amir Al-Masry, written by Youssef Maati and directed by Ali Idris.

EUC 2011

The film dealt with the journey of a group of high school students who failed to achieve a high score, and therefore were unable to enter the university, so they decided to establish their own fake university, so that they would not face a wave of anger from their families because of this failure. Young people are surprised by the desire of many other students to enter the university, thinking that it is true, but because of their adolescence and not thinking about their future, they did not care that there were no professors to teach and no accredited curriculum. As events unfold, the reality of the fictitious university becomes clear and is subject to the Ministry of Higher Education, so that students discover many negatives in the education system in Egypt. The film stars Karim Kassem, Amr Abed and Mohamed Salam, written by Omar Gamal, and directed by Akram Farid.

No blame 2014

The film discusses an important issue of education in Egypt, which is the great difference between private and public schools. And that is through the character of “Hani”, a middle school student whose father suddenly dies, and because of the debts on his mother, she is forced to transfer him from his private school to a public school. To be surprised by incompetent teachers, inhumane toilets, overcrowded classrooms, and lower-class students, as well as manifestations of violence between students in the school, and the moral decline of some students, which amounted to harassment in their school. Because of “Hani”‘s desire to integrate with the new society and consolidate his relationship with the rest of his colleagues, he decided not to reveal his Christian religion, and claimed that he was a Muslim. The film stars Kinda Alloush, Hani Adel and Ahmed Dash, and is written and directed by Amr Salama.

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