Education In Nablus During The British Mandate

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Majd Abed-Al-Fatah Abdoh
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The education public system in Palestine was essentially established by the Ottoman law in 1869 and 1913. During the Ottoman period, few public schools were available Nablus The oldest were AI-Khan School built in 1879, and the Rushdiyah School in 1889. The two famous schools were the Eastern Rashadiyah School and the Western Rashadiyah School. The Kutab System ( the Old Quran Schools) was found in Nablus in Mosques and Maqamat Al-Awliya. The religious instructions formed part of the curriculum. There were no qualified teachers, and each Kutab system had its own curriculum. In general, the education system, during the Ottoman period, was very poor in the number of qualified teachers, ignorance of the significance 01" the education both females and males. There were no schools for girls, no budgets, lack and shortage in textbooks. Even the curriculum was traditional and not flexible, and the teaching language of instruction in schools was the Ottoman language (Turkish). During the British Mandate 1918-1948, a new Education Ordinance replaced the then existing (Ottoman) legislation. It was proposed under the Ordinance to make regulation for local education authorities and for schools in the public system. The Government Department of Education was established in 1920, and it was headquartered in Jerusalem. It was controlled by director, with a deputy director (both British) and were assisted by a Palestinian Inspectorate. There were Arab Inspector in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nablus and Haifa They were in charge of running government schools in their own districts. The education system during the British Mandate improved slightly. In 1933, a new Education Ordinance was issued. It aimed at encouraging the establishment of elementary schools, and allowed the establishment of national and private schools like An-Najah Nabulssiyah School, and Oar Al-Aytarn School. Also a special local committee for education was set up, to manage the education system inside Nablus, impose the education tax, and appoint teachers in the local schools. In Nablus, there were five schools for males and six schools for females, and in addition to eight private schools. The famous and the largest was An-Najah National School which late became a secondary school and community college. But Nablus needed more schools to overcome the problem of illiteracy, due to the shortage in the number of schools. Also many shortages prevented from developing the public schools system. The financial policy prevented any marked expansion of activities in the field of Arab education. No new elementary schools were established for both females and males. There was no maintenance of the old schools. Secondary schools were not available. The government opened secondary classes in certain elementary schools in Nablus such as Salahiyah school for male, and in 1946 for female in Al-Aishiyah school. In Nablus only one elementary school had secondary classes for females and males. Some elementary schools consisted of seven years, while other schools had only a four-year program. There were no Palestinian universities, or vocational school, or agricultural school. The British Mandate education policy aimed at preparing a few qualified people to work as clerks in the government departments, rather than the education of the Palestinians. This policy prevented the Palestinians from any national education system. The education ordinance allowed the British Director to punish, or to arrest any teacher or student for any political activities. During the 1936 rebellion, the British Mandate closed all schools in Palestine. For example, the British authoroties had closed An-Najah National College for three years.
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