Clashes kill 3 civilians in Sudan’s Darfur, say doctors

Sudanese villagers walk in the war-torn town of Golo in central Darfur. (AFP/File)
Updated 12 August 2019

Clashes kill 3 civilians in Sudan’s Darfur, say doctors

  • The violence over grazing land, which was one of the root causes of a deadly war that erupted in 2003, had been relatively rare in Darfur recently

KHARTOUM: Clashes that erupted over pasture between farmers and herders in Sudan's western region of Darfur left three civilians dead on Sunday, a doctors committee linked to the country's protest movement said.
"Three citizens were killed this morning in Shengel Tobay, in North Darfur state, and another was wounded," the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said in a statement.
Such deadly violence over grazing land, which was one of the root causes of a deadly war that erupted in 2003, had been relatively rare in Darfur recently.
The latest incident marred the first day of the Eid al-Adha Muslim feast and it was Sudan's first since months of protests brought down longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir and created an opportunity for civilian rule.
The deadly conflict that broke out more than 15 years ago in Sudan saw ethnic African rebels take up arms against Bashir's regime, which they accused of marginalising the remote region.
Khartoum armed Arab pastoralists to quash the rebellion, leading to massacres against the population that earned Bashir and others international warrants on charges of genocide.
While the fighting has subsided in Darfur, tensions over pasture remain and those responsible for the war's darkest hours have not been brought to justice.
"The former regime fuelled the conflict and contributed to deepening the crisis by not helping to provide sustainable solutions, and not holding perpetrators accountable," the doctors committee said.
Bashir was ousted in April after 30 years in power and a temporary power-sharing agreement was reached a week ago by the country's generals and protest leaders.
The document that will serve as Sudan's de facto interim constitution, however, does not mention the fate of Bashir and others wanted by the International Criminal Court over massacres in Darfur.
A key figure in Sudan's transitional authority and widely tipped as the country's new strongman was once a top leader of an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed and responsible for some of the Darfur conflict's worst atrocities.

Cairo turns to Tokyo for a lesson on education

Updated 23 August 2019

Cairo turns to Tokyo for a lesson on education

  • The Japanese education system is recognized as one of the top five worldwide

CAIRO: Egypt is seeking Japan’s help to improve its education system, which has fallen to 130th place in international rankings.

The Japanese education system is recognized as one of the top five worldwide, and Cairo is hoping to apply key aspects of Japan’s approach to the Egyptian curriculum.

Education has played a major role in transforming Japan from a feudal state receiving aid following World War II to a modern economic powerhouse. 

During a visit to Japan in 2016, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed political and economic development with Japanese officials, and was also briefed on the Japanese education system.

The Egyptian leader visited Japanese schools and called on Japan to help Egypt introduce a similar system in its schools.  

As part of Egyptian-Japanese cooperation, Japan’s embassy established cultural cooperation as well as technical and professional education links between the two countries. Collaboration has been strengthened from kindergarten to post-university, with Japanese experts contributing in various education fields.

Japanese experts have held seminars in schools across the country, focusing on basic education. 

During one seminar, Japan highlighted the importance of enhancing education by playing games during kindergarten and primary school, encouraging children’s ability and desire to explore.  

Education expert Ola El-Hazeq told Arab News that the Japanese system focuses on developing students’ sense of collective worth and responsibility toward society. This starts with their surrounding environment by taking care of school buildings, educational equipment and school furniture, for example.

“Japanese schools are known for being clean,” El-Hazeq said. “The first thing that surprises a school visitor is finding sneakers placed neatly in a locker or on wooden shelves at the school entrance. Each sneaker has its owner’s name on it. This is a habit picked up at most primary and intermediate schools as well as in many high schools.”

Japanese students also clean their classrooms, collect leaves that have fallen in the playground and take out the garbage. In many cases, teachers join students to clean up schools and also public gardens and beaches during the summer holidays.

El-Hazeq added that neither the teachers nor the students find it beneath their dignity to carry out such chores.

The academic year in Japan continues for almost 11 months, different from most other countries, with the Japanese academic year starting on April 1 and ending on March 31 the following year.

Japan’s school days and hours are relatively longer in comparison with other countries. Usually the school day is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Teachers normally work until 5 p.m. but sometimes up to 7 p.m. Holidays are shorter than in other countries. Spring and winter holidays are no longer than 10 days, and the summer holiday ranges from 40 to 45 days.