1902 Encyclopedia > Arabia > Arabia - Education. Arab Education.

Arabia
(Part 36)




(36) Arabia - Education. Arab Education

There is little education, in our sense of the word, in Arabia. Among the Bedouins there are, of course, no schools, and few, even of the most elementary character, in the towns or villages. Where they exist, little beyond the mechanical reading of the Koran, and the equally mechanical learning of it by rote, is taught. On the other hand, Arab male children, brought up from early years among the grown-up men of the house or tent, learn more from their own parents and at home than is common in other countries; reading and writings are in most instances thus acquired, or rather transmitted; besides such general principles of grammar and eloquence, often of poetry and history, as the elders themselves may be able to impart. To this family schooling too are due the good manners, politeness, and self-restraint that early distinguish Arab children. In the very few instances where a public school of a higher class exists, writing, grammar, and rhetoric sum up its teachings. Law and theology, in the narrow sense that both these words have in the Islamitic system, are explained in afternoon lectures given in most mosques; and some verses of the Koran, with one of the accepted commentaries, that of El-Beidawee for example, from the basis of the instruction.





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