Research studies

Investigation Of Education Curriculums In Primary Schools In Some Middle Eastern Countries(A comparative study)


Prepared by the researcher  :  Omer Haraki – Ataturk Unıversıty, Turkey

Democratic Arab Center

International Journal of Educational and Psychological Studies : Fifteenth Issue – December 2021

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin.

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN  2569-930X
International Journal of Educational and Psychological Studies
:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link


The study aimed to compare education systems at the primary level in the Middle East. In this study, the descriptive method was used in investigating and comparing the data, and the study sample was identified in four countries, namely Syria, Egypt, Iran and Turkey, based on the target sample from the Middle East. The results of the study presented many differences and differences between the education systems in the countries concerned with the study; The educational curricula in Syria depend on the density of theoretical information and the weakness of the practical and technological aspects. In recent years, there have been several changes to the curriculum to develop it, but unfortunately, attention has been limited to the form of the textbook, regardless of the shortcomings of the physical and technological learning environment in the development process. Iran relied on religious ideological thought in designing its educational curricula. While both Egypt and Turkey seek to renew educational curricula following future visions and plans to improve the educational process; Plans are made to take care of the child’s structure and focus on active learning, interactive teaching and learner-based assessment. The Egyptian government’s interest in the close cooperation witnessed by the education sector with international institutions has also increased to benefit from experiences in developing the education sector.


The definitions of researchers and experts in the domain of comparative education vary according to their perspectives on this field. According to Kandel, comparative education is a trend that mirrors the past and the present. At the same time, it is a domain of study that operates to identify the differences and factors that lead to these differences in education systems and analysis of different educational philosophies, through examples of these educational philosophies and practices in different countries. It then examines how various countries have attempted to solve their teaching problems.

According to Carter Good, comparative education is “a scientific activity carried out to expand and deepen understanding of education and training problems, that is not only in the countries where the researcher is located but also in different countries, to examine and compare educational theories and their practices in different countries. (Badran, 2004). Although there is no verifiable specialization called a program, the word itself seems to be a tangible item because it can undergo multiple processes. Programs or programs as plural, curricula, or curriculums are made, planned, designed, and created depending on the user’s preference in Latin. It is developed, renewed, and evaluated. Develop the program through repetition, such as photographic film and muscles. It is also edited, structured, restructured, and healed like a coy child. As another expert, the program planner can prepare, shape, and adapt the program with remarkable dexterity (Osmanoglu, 2014).

Albert I. Oliver equated the program with the educational program and divided the program into four basic elements: The program of studies, the program of experiences, the program of services is clear. To these elements, Oliver added the concept of a rough program, which includes the differences in the importance that different teachers give to the same subject area, the enthusiasm of the teachers, and the physical and social climate supported by the school (Oliva & others, 2018). In the study on the similarities and differences in the education programs accepted in Turkey, Germany, and France, Ergün and Öztürk (2011) focused on all examining the education systems(Ergün&Öztürk, 2011). The study by Alomary (2014) focused on the unexpected consequences of Islamic values between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in terms of education policies and tried to reveal the differences and similarities between them(Alomary, 2014). While Osmanoğlu’s (2014) study comparatively investigated the perception of the Ottoman State in the social studies textbooks used in the sixth and seventh grades in Turkey and Egypt(Osmanoğlu, 2014).

Yosir and Keskin (2012)  conducted a study to reveal the similarities and differences in the education systems in Turkey and Denmark. Through various dimensions of the education system were discussed as the general structure of the education system, funding, courses taught at the primary level, duration of courses, and learning environment(Yosir&Keskin, 2012). Tekgöz (2017) conducted a comparative analysis of the content of the physical education curriculum in primary education in Germany and Turkey. In the study, the study concluded that there is no difference in the content in general(Tekgöz, 2017). The joint study of Şahenk and Erkan (2013) compared the education systems of Turkey and France in terms of general characteristics and English curricula. In this context, it is determined that there are similar characteristics between education systems in terms of course content and the number of courses, but it is noted that there are some differences(Şahenk&Erkan, 2013).  Abdel Aziz (2016) compared the content of Islamic education books at the primary school level.  And results obtained from the study revealed that there are differences in the image of religion(Abdel Aziz, 2016). Çetin’s (2018) research comparatively discussed the scope of social studies courses in primary and secondary schools in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the objectives of the curricula, the duration of the courses, and the methods used in assessment and evaluation (Çetin, 2018).

1.2. Problem of the study:

If we approach the educational reality in Middle Eastern countries, some of these countries have achieved success in regional education; It is possible to see some of them trying to achieve success. For example, according to UNICEF reports, while trying to improve the image of education in Saudi Arabia and Turkey; On another hand, little progress is carried out in Syria(UNICEF, 2005).  In Egypt, the fragile economic situation continues to harm education and weaken the system. Between 2017 and 2014, illiteracy in the Middle East ranged from 5 to 25 per cent. (Abtahi, 2018; Ajuz, 2016; Syrian Ministry of Culture, 2010). According to the World Bank, the main problems facing education systems in the Middle East are the old school buildings, the lack of modern curricula, the inadequacy of education certificates, and the barriers between skills and modernity and tradition on the other hand. (The World Bank, 2019).

In light of the previous data, this study was implemented to identify the reality of educational curricula in the first educational stage in some Middle Eastern countries.

1.3. Questions of Study:

-What is the reality of educational curricula in the Middle East?

1.4. Purpose of the study:

The aim of this research is to determine the similarities and differences in the education systems used in the primary schools of the Middle East countries (Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Iran).

1.5. The importance of the study:

The importance of the study stems from the importance of primary school. With this; consists of drawing the next steps to improve the education systems in these countries.

1.6. Terms and Definitions:

The term Middle East refers to the geographical region between Western Asia and the Mediterranean Sea and parts of North Africa. It also points to the old east. The first countries to use this term are England, and then America (Gunderson, C., 2003).

The experiences of different countries and possible outcomes can be defined with comparative education studies. It demonstrates knowledge of different practices, works as a supporter in the development of educational adjustments, and cultural differences and similarities can help to realize cooperation between societies (Philips &Schwesfurth, 2008).

Primary school is the first stage in the formal education system (Olinger& Jonathan, 2012).

Curriculum: Albert I. Oliver equated the program with the educational program and divided the program into four basic elements: The program of studies, the program of experiences, the program of services is clear) Oliva & others, 2018).

  1. Theoretical frameworkand Previous studies

According to Hilda Taba described the criteria for providing learning opportunities related to program development: a program is a learning plan. Taba defined the program by listing the elements of the program. Taba stated that each program ends with an evaluation method that aims to determine goals and explanations and different content that shapes learning and teaching methods and to determine whether the goals have been achieved or not. Hollis L. Caswell and Doak S. Campbell defined the program, not as a series of lessons, it’s as all the experiences children gain under the guidance of teachers. In his writings, Ralph W. Tyler focused on educational goals that reflect the behavioral changes that educational institutions aim to achieve in students(Oliva & others, 2018).

In the study conducted by Merki (2020), planned practices to support students in primary schools with selective education systems were discussed. The findings obtained in the study were used to compare students with immigrant backgrounds studying at 5 primary schools in Switzerland. Research results reveal that schools differ in providing support to students. It has been determined that no primary school has an environment that can be described as non-discrimination. In most of these schools, educational support mostly includes students with high socio-cultural level and high-performing students with higher educational goals. This situation serves a mission of reproduction of inequalities. It was determined that 2 of the schools that were the subject of the research tried to implement at least partially compensatory support strategies. In addition, schools also vary according to their perceptions of active participation by teachers in supporting students(Merki, 2020).

On other handHendrickson, )2011), The Finnish National Curriculum provides a supportive environment for the development of teacher professionalism and expertise and provides the freedom needed for teachers working in the country to conduct classroom assessments. In the United States, there are strict rules in terms of both curriculum and assessment. The study argued that policymakers interested in preparing education policies in the United States should take advantage of Finland’s political differences and the positive effects of these differences on students; Whereas, through the implemented policies, Finland has managed to achieve such high scores in international assessments; So what do tough policies and high-risk testing mean for the United States?(Hendrickson, 2011).

Talaba (2012) presents an analytical critique of basic education in Egypt, based on the “Education for All” conferences held in Egypt between 1990 and 2010. The study aims to provide information about the basis of the education system in Egypt by analyzing a series of scientific conferences. For this, Talaba applied the analytical method. Some of the results obtained from the research are as follows: Conferences focused on meeting basic needs such as reading, writing, oral expression and mathematics(Talaba, 2012).

The joint study of Şahenk and Erkan (2013) compared the education systems of Turkey and France in terms of general characteristics and English curricula. In this context, it has been determined that there are similar characteristics between the education systems in terms of course content and the number of courses, but it has been noted that there are some differences(Şahenk&Erkan, 2013).

While Ehrmann(2016) focused on what the education system in Turkey needs to improve and pointed out the problems that exist based on the similar and different aspects of education systems in Germany, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey; The study was based on the important factors (demographic composition of the country, language, the historical development of the education system, authority and supervision in the education system, etc.) that make up the background of the education system in Germany (Ehrmann, 2016).

Gimenez (2017) conducted a global non-country Malcost study to measure a change in education systems in 29 participating countries in PISA 2003 and 2012. For 15-year-olds in mathematics and reading. The results of the study showed that there are positive developments in the performance of educational systems in this process. The reason for this development is due to the change that balances the technological infrastructure; However, a more in-depth study conducted across the country revealed that the results also have notable differences between them(Gimenez, 2017).

In the same context, Woolman’s (2014) research compared education curricula in four African countries, using an analytical and comparative approach. The study concluded that the relationship between education and national development in Africa is a common problem for many countries of the world. Also, the impact of school education on culture and its role as a cultural carrier is a matter of political sensitivity in many countries. For example, most African countries have rich cultural and linguistic values. This leads to multiple challenges for schools that are expected to develop cultural unity. Some of the questions asked in many nation-states are whether cultural diversity can coexist in unity. Also, it is important to know that national values are just as important as the moral and social foundations of any culture (Woolman, 2014).

Taşkıran and Tarik’s (2019) study titled “The Period of Four Caliphs in Secondary School Islamic History Textbooks in Iran and Turkey. In the study, first, detailed information about the books was given, and then the chapters that contained the period of the four caliphs were discussed in detail. The interpretations and results were then discussed objectively, and all these elements were examined comparatively (Taşkıran and Tarik, 2019).

While the study of Kakojoibari et al (2008), to identify the positive and negative aspects of special education in Iran and to suggest new strategies for improvements, and the scientific documentation audit approach was adopted. For this purpose, the Iranian private education system; is compared with Germany, England, the United States, Canada, Japan and France in four sub-headings consisting of strategic management, planning, human resources, financial resources, and curriculum planning. The results obtained from the study point to the conclusion that there is no law to support inclusive education in Iran(Kakojoibari, 2008).

  1. Materials and Methods:

This study is descriptive education research. In this direction, it is envisaged to examine all elements of education systems to determine the similarities and differences between education systems in the horizontal approach. At the same time, it’s planned to use the descriptive approach to investigate the data obtained from the research (Tekgöz, 2017; Şahenk&Erkan, 2013; Osmanoğlu, 2014; Quinoniz, 2010). In this direction, it’s planned to compare the primary school systems of the Middle East countries included in the sample in terms of curricula.

3.1. Universe/Sample:

The sample of this study was determined by the stratified purposive sampling approach and consisted of five countries selected from each geographical region constituting the Middle East, on the condition that it be the largest country in terms of population. These are Turkey, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The present Middle East refers to the old world. In other words, the Middle East region, which hosts many countries, consists of three main regions. These are called the Persian region, Arab region, and Turkish region too. In this direction, 16 countries are locating within the borders of the Middle East. These; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and United Arab Emirates (Raed, 2012).

Figure (1) Middle East Region(Caliper, 2019).

3.2. Data Collection Tools:

In this study, primary data sources related to primary education systems in Middle Eastern countries were used. In this direction, all relevant documents such as articles, research papers, books, official reports and official web pages of ministries of education in the countries included in the sample were investigated.

3.3. Data Investigation:

In this study, primary school systems were subjected to content descriptive. The category used in the study, in other words, the scale, was created according to the research area. It is clarified by literature review and pre-reading of the primary school content, and it is finalized by taking expert opinion. The category is wide enough to cover the curriculum’s content of each country’s primary school.

  1. Materials and discussion

4.1. Education Programs of Primary Schools in Syria:

The education strategy of the education system in Syria by the Arab and international reference circles, “Providing economic knowledge to meet both national and social needs in meeting the requirements of the national economic growth of the Syrian society and reducing poverty, unemployment, social and regional inequality, especially towards human development goals” summarized. The Syrian education system is a system that contains the most theoretical knowledge and has very delicate details. The curricula of this education system are one of the curricula in which concepts such as patriotism, the philosophy of Arab nationalism, and pride are most intensely studied.

Curricula in Syrian has witnessed many developments and renewal processes in previous years. However, these curricula did not achieve the desired efficiency because they were not adequately suited to the schools’ infrastructure and the method of their implementation is not sufficiently studied. Even so, the restructuring of learning programs in Syria has separated the curricula into closed specializations. In other words, the materials are presented separately from each other, without any intersection or role, without paying attention to possible interferences and interactions between mathematics, physics, or other sciences.

All of these factors lead to that the interruption of the content according to the specialities and in each discipline. The fragmented nature of science curricula has also led to a situation in which the scientific approach to phenomena contradicts and sometimes contradicts the contemporary trend of interdisciplinary interaction.

Syrian school curriculum tends to present science impartiality, but it is far from any practical purpose in life. A situation that leads to the separation of science, technology, and society. Also, the time allotted for school time is not commensurate with the expansion of its content and variety. Much attention is paid to these limitations, definitions, equations, and algorithms related to the content of the training. however, any approach to problem-solving and developing skills could not find enough room for action (EbuRjeli, 2006).

In the non-formal education system, students are taught many concepts and principles, randomly without considering the validity of the information. In cases where it is more appropriate to develop a mechanism for connecting terms and arranging them in order of priority, a figurative description is used to illustrate the various relationships that exist between concepts(the Tagus, 219) (UNICEF, 2015-2016).

Strategy and teaching methods:

The modern Syrian educational curriculum is generally based on active learning strategies (dialogue and discussion, cooperative learning, role-playing, brainstorming, problem-solving, concept maps, self-education, problem-solving., story, discussion) to facilitate students’ understanding of concepts, also, the curriculum adopts Educational Frayer Strategy, which is one of the thinking schemes developed by the famous professor Fryer to aid in the understanding of any scientific topic. The concept and this strategy, in which the students express these scientific concepts with their methods and languages, consist of four basic sections related to the concept, and these sections are as follows: Definition of the concept, advantages or features of the concept, examples that indicate the concept, and examples that are not indicative of the concept(Arabia, 2020).

On the other hand, the implementation of active learning strategies, especially in the first phase, in Syria faces many obstacles such as intense fear of trying the new and breaking the usual pattern in the teaching process, especially among the older generation.  The fear of not being able to do, in addition to the limited duration of the lesson, a large number of students in some classes, the lack of some tools and equipment, the students not participating in these strategies, and using their thinking skills. control students, lack of experience of teachers and teachers in their ability to manage discussions and projects. Also, the lack of sufficient effort towards developing teaching methods is due to the lack of material and moral incentives. (Ali, 2017).

Pioneers Program:

Figure (2) The motto of Pioneers Organization, (2010).

On the other hand, implementing pioneering competitions to develop the child’s personality and talent through the experience of Baath pioneers. These competitions are implemented to fulfil the organization’s motto “Learn at the highest level” and to allow all the pioneers to show their talents in education, training and creative education.This experiment in the organization began in 1978.

Pioneer competitions are carrying on all levels (COMMUNITY – GROUP – COUNTRY). Ba’ath pioneers are being selected on the following dates:

-COMMUNITY and GROUP levels throughout February.

-At regional and branch level throughout March.

-Nationwide in June.

The competitions cover the following disciplines:

The Culture and Information Office: It is concerned with determining the level of eloquence, the ability to speak English and French, and the skills of poetry, story and literary expression of the contestants. Technical Education Office: Determination of knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, natural sciences, environment, and computer-oriented electron agriculture.

Fine Arts Office: Drawing, sculpture, Arabic calligraphy, Arabic mosaic rugs, ceramic carpets, electronic rose figures and coordination of nature remains, identification of skills in advertising, and applied arts.

Theatre and Music Office: This office includes the Song Theatre, Puppet Theatre, and Acting Theatre.

Office of Sports Education: Identification of skills such as chess, gymnastics, and athletics.

Students are selected from fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who manage to reach the top three in their category. Also, the winner of each category is appointed as the leader. The organization’s management presents an “external travel grant” to the winning pioneers in the country.

Child Creativity and Invention Office Program:

This office facilitates the preparation of patent applications for children and the formulation of the child’s copyright in publications through school periodicals, stories, poems, drawings, musical pieces, scientific inventions, and other creative products. This office continues its activities under the Baath Pioneers Organization (Baath Pioneer organization, 2011).

While the old curricula contain information that does not serve the attempt to expand the student’s culture; The modern curricula allows the student to adopt useful information and pushes the productivity capacity of the students by encouraging productivity (Muhammed, 2009). Special education projects package sought by the Ministry of National Education in the current plan:

1) National standards project for school curricula.

2) Project to deepen education and rehabilitation for teachers.

3) The project of organizing private education institutions.

4) Kindergarten project.

5) Syria Education Channel Project.

6) Badia(OUTBACK) Schools Project.

7) National Center for Outstanding Students project.

8) The project of investing in information technology in education and training.

10) Project for the development of exams.

11) Early Childhood Rehabilitation and Education Project (Early Childhood Development Center) project.

Ministry of National Education has brought psychological and social counselling practices to schools to strengthen the relationship between school and family, to solve the problems experienced by students during adolescence, and the problems of incompatibility in the first part of the basic education stage. Ministry of Education also includes English, starts from the first year of basic education; He made French compulsory starting from the seventh grade. The nature of the period necessitates speaking more than one foreign language at the mother tongue level.Despite serious attempts to improve the curriculum, there is still a lack of meeting the development requirements and the needs of students. Among the obstacles are a large amount of theoretical knowledge, insufficient methods and practical activities, and the lack of equipment to implement them so that students are not able to develop their skills. Traditional teaching methods have been adopted instead of self-learning, cooperative learning and discovery learning methods due to the high density of students in the classroom. However, assessment methods are still not adequate. Although the curriculum focuses on measuring the initial level of knowledge, in particular the level of memorization, recall and retrieval, this situation remains somewhat acceptable. The share of future education in the educational curricula is still much lower than in past education. An effective education system requires planning that addresses the questions of today and the future in the light of planning that can meet the future hopes of children and follow the trends(Sayed, 2012).

As a result, many changes have occurred in the Syrian curricula in the last fifteen years to improve the curriculum structure, keep pace with modern teaching models and accelerate knowledge. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Syrian child got used to a group. cacti, which represents the Syrian educational curricula in textbooks and has become part of the student’s identity. However, the situation has changed in recent years and the curricula are constantly changed. The Syrian curriculum is characterized by its concentrated content and focus on the Arabic language,  in recent years there has been an increase in interest in learning a foreign language, especially English. From the observations of the teachers, we see that the curricula development is not in parallel with the development of the physical structure or the technological structure of the schools, and even the effective and practical education of the students on modern teaching methods and strategies. The development was limited only to textbooks. Therefore, the teacher’s pension does not encourage him to make more efforts to improve himself or the teaching process. But overall, despite the many disadvantages, the Syrian education curriculum remains deep in content and easy to access. Also, concerning the education programs in Syria, it is understood from the previous information that the primary school curriculum is broad and intensive as well as being highly interconnected in theory and covers most of the information that the child needs. However, the research also concluded that the educational curricula in Syria are not compatible with the school infrastructure, because the schools suffer from a weakness in the applied field and related activities. At the same time, the curricula adopt modern educational strategies. In the beginning, it is visibly clear that the school is not prepared for such developmental strategies in terms of classroom seating, classroom format, technological structure, and the qualifications of teachers and parents to accept such a broad and detailed configuration (Muhammed, 2020).

4.2. Educational Programs of Primary School in Egypt:

The education program in Egypt depends on various points, including the new educational philosophy: innovative philosophy, originality, and heritage, current problems, a philosophy that seeks to reconcile the future with the past are some of these points. It is also part of the Egyptian education programs to enable students to face challenges and be prepared to live with them, leading their horizons to look ahead. The curricula conceder one of the effective elements in driving the transmission of societal culture, traditions and customs, ensuring that an appropriate amount of community culture is inculcated in the learners. It has a fundamental role in taking into account the cultural orientation and benefiting from the cultures of Arab societies. In addition, there are benefits such as focusing on the knowledge economy, focusing on applied knowledge, focusing on efficient and planned theoretical knowledge, and focusing on modern technology in the storage of knowledge (Faraj, 2018).

The Ministry of National Education has recently come to the fore with its strategic plans on education to regulate the education-related articles of the Egyptian constitution. The arrangements to be made include respect for national identity and cultural privacy, adoption of global trends in education, a compromise between free access and quality requirements, curriculum modernization, and heritage recall. There has also been enthusiasm for translating educational articles that incorporate a clear vision and a constructive strategy, including the balance between revision, criticism, accountability, analysis, study, and research. Without ignoring the importance of accepting the existence of different identities, multiple activities deepen the cultures of citizenship, belonging and self-confidence, and link education to the local, Arab and international labour market. It is also a matter of considering the challenges facing society: population growth, school dropout, illiteracy and poverty rates, and society’s class order. Ministry of Education points out that the development of the education curricula in Egypt depends on the four dimensions of “learning to work – learning to live with the other”, the challenges facing the Egyptian, Arab and international community, and modern educational trends, to raise the student’s personality and prepare him for life. The Ministry of Education indicated that the philosophy of education stems from the ideas put forward through achieving Egypt’s vision by 2030, as well as the strategic plan for public education in Egypt from 2014 to 2030. The new education system, which focuses on high-quality education without discrimination within the framework of an institutional system, envisions an efficient and fair, sustainable model. Above all, the modern education policy aims to raise a person who can think flexibly and critically, has high creative skills, can train himself in different fields of work based on problem-solving and competition, be enlightened, responsible, respectful of diversity and enthusiastic for the development of society. In this context, the general framework of the curriculum is guided by global visions (Armouti, 2020) (Egyptian Constitution, Article 19, 2013; Ismail, Talat, 2017). Based on the Education for All conferences held in Egypt between 1990 and 2010. Core topics such as knowledge, skills, values and inclinations are among the focus points of these conferences(Talaba, 2012).

The Ministry of Education has recently taken steps to change the existing culture for some of the concepts of education in Egypt. In this direction, the ministry of Education thinks that diplomas should be given to people who can achieve success without training. In this direction, the established educational philosophy needs to be changed. In other words, Philosophy must change to protect the rights of those who do not have an educational document, but do benefit from government services and move them forward. The new system introduced for kindergartens and first grades in 2018 also included the construction of new curricula that were completely different from the old system. It was developed in line with the “Egypt Sustainable Development Vision 2030” with different teaching methods. The Ministry of National Education underlined that the new books formed the Egyptian identity and were in line with international standards. As a justification for this assumption, it was claimed that these books were an investment for Egypt for at least fifty years, and were prepared with countries that ranked first in world education classes. When the ministry of education adopted the new curricula, the construction of the curriculum was prepared in fourteen years, exactly five years the minister ordered that the construction of the new curriculum for the remaining nine years of education would accelerate. While the government referred that 6.5 million students are studying according to the new education system in kindergarten, first and second grades, it referred that the new system is suitable for standard methods to measure academic success in terms of success (Seyyid, 2019) (Hossam, 2018).

Egypt Primary School Course:

As a result, Egypt is characterized through many foreign curricula, which are taught in private schools and occupy a wide place in Egyptian education. Therefore, we see that the interest in the state curriculum for schools in previous years was insufficient forward information technology, the acceleration of knowledge, and the development of teaching methods and strategies. On the other hand, in the last decade, successive governments have tried to develop a plan to radically modernize all aspects of the education process and government curricula. One of the key points adopted by the Ministry of Education is the change of government curricula to the curricula. It depends on active learning, interactive education, and learner-based assessment. He also points out that, about the Egyptian curricula, the interest of the Egyptian government in improving the education curricula and bringing in the latest experience and configurations in this field has increased. Egypt also draws attention to the close cooperation the education sector has witnessed with international institutions to leverage expertise in the development process. The expected that the expected answers and practices regarding the government’s vision of creating the new curricula with modern and modern bases will remain an open-ended question in the coming years.

4.3. Education Programs of Primary School in Iran:

Considering Iran’s approaches to the education system, it is classified as a concept and religious foundation. As a result of this classification, it was deemed appropriate to design it for disciplined and centralized approaches. While the said organization consists of official institutions in terms of curricula officials; the overall structure of the curriculum was created by focusing on the role of traditional characters and educators’ textbooks. In general, Iran’s curriculum formation is relatively balanced and consistent, due to the difficulties experienced in the situation of balancing its performance, it makes it difficult to reach its goals effectively. After presenting the foregoing, it can be said that the government is the decision-maker in developing and changing curricula within a centralized system, which is the subject under discussion(Şerıfı, 2014).

The system used in primary school education generally proceeds through the theoretical system. Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the education process in primary schools revolves around the teacher. Also, teachers benefit financially through private lessons within the compulsory courses. Within the system that the authorities in Iran use to develop during this process, in terms of the use of technology in the primary curriculum, 2-Credit Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is implemented as lessons and workshops within primary education. It is noted that teachers were recruited in many different ways in previous years, within the system, that has been discussed in terms of the method and teacher training courses and whose deficits were determined. E.g; Not all of the teachers identified have passed the “Teacher Training Courses” also in-service courses. So, it is difficult to say that they have gone through a consistent and regular program for their recruitment processes. As a result of this, as the structure of human resource management needs to change in the name of the solution the aims of the system used in teacher training must be reconsidered by combining theory and practice, the development of the necessary competence in the teaching profession, a program that adopts the integration of ICT in the education curriculum and the existing ones in the education of teachers. It is necessary to correct the mistakes and establish strong relations between universities and other educational institutions (primary and secondary education) (Nerad&Zekati, 2009; Sheriff, 2013).

The system of designing, combining and implementing the state and secondary education curricula in Iran faces many challenges and flaws, both through understanding the concept of curriculum and designing and combining curricula. Among the main challenges and shortcomings of this educational system is that it is characterized by centralization in the design and development of curricula, in addition to the lack of flexibility in the curricula. Also the lack of attention to individual and cognitive differences among students, lack of attention to cultural, social, ethnic and regional differences, lack of interest in scientific, educational and cultural developments at the global level, and lack of interest in new approaches and developments in the curricula and new expectations for the curriculum(Salsabili, 2007).

According to Kakojoibari et al (2008), the freedom of private education is guaranteed by the state, however, when comparing the Iranian education system with the countries of the developed world, Iran is far behind and is unsuccessful in central planning compared to these countries. (Kakojoibari et al, 2008).

It is inevitable to move from the Iranian curriculum planning system not to focus on curricula design and development and to focus on the school curriculum, which is a kind of working philosophy at the conceptual and perceptual level. However, the process of change towards decentralization and flexibility is not unlimited and faces barriers and limitations, the most important of which are teachers’ perceptions, levels of experience, and their ability to use research and planning. At the same time, the curriculum should bring with it degrees of national unity and cohesion.

The situation of curricula planning in Iran’s primary education system:

Curriculum planning indicators General concept of each attribute
Curriculum concepts product concept
Curriculum Fundamentals Religious Fundamentals
Policy-making models in curriculum planning A model based on public policy and management
Stakeholders in the curriculum National institutions and organizations
Curriculum design patterns Disciplined curriculum design model
Key elements of the curriculum Content element
Curriculum education textbook product
Teachers’ roles in the curriculum Education role
Curriculum assessment models Targeted assessment model
Curriculum model traditional model

Table (3) Situation of Curriculum Planning in Iran’s Primary Education System, (Bursalim et al., 2017).

According to what was mentioned previously, we conclude that all the foundations of curriculum planning in the Iranian education system are based on the same foundations of religious principles. For Iran, this is not a new situation. Because historical studies show that educational institutions in Iran have not been independent of religious education both in ancient times and modern times since their establishment. The fact that the goals of religious education are broader and clearer than modern education has led to the shift of education in this direction. In general, the curriculum based on religious education in primary schools, although it strives towards development, remains far from ideal and needs to be rearranged(Bursalim et al., 2017).

Studies show that the disciplined model has been identified as the main model in the primary education curriculum system in Iran. However, there are serious concerns about the effectiveness of this model. Curriculum critics; They admit that there are many negatives in the Iranian educational curricula in the primary stage, including the failure to keep pace with the rapid spread of knowledge and information, in addition to the dispersal of the curriculum, the weak relationship between the curriculum and the personal and social life of students, intellectual stagnation in the educational curricula and the lack of acceptance of the other. The results of the studies carried out in this direction have revealed that objective-oriented assessment is common as the main assessment model in Iran’s curriculum planning system. However, some comparative studies reveal a fundamental difference like evaluation of leading countries in science and technology education in Iran (Mehr, 2009). Based on the development strategy that Iran has set in the fields of science and technology in recent years, it is necessary to establish important regulations and to test different evaluation models from what exists now. According to the results obtained from this study, the traditional model, which is the backbone of curriculum planning, has a strong presence in primary schools in Iran. The impact of this system on cultural and ideological contexts is also evident. Accordingly, comparative studies between developing countries (Indonesia, Senegal) and the United States, Canada, England, Singapore, and Iran also show that it is necessary to avoid developing curricula based on ideological and religious ideology in the curriculum development process (Mehir, 2009). The results obtained from the study by Afhemi and Bahşti (2015); show the need to focus on issues such as the development of imagination, flexibility of goals, providing aesthetic experiences, and inner satisfaction.

Content of Primary Education System in Iran:

As a result, regarding the curriculum of education in Iran, the Iranian curriculum is broad but traditional, as in many other countries in the Third World; The policy of the Iranian regime also works to instil the values of the religious ideological revolution in the minds of children from a young age, and the non-acceptance of others (the concepts of the Islamic-Shiite revolution) in Iran from a young age, as well as the interest in theoretical information and its indoctrination for children.

4.4. Primary Education Programs in Turkey:

After the meeting held in 1926, the program changes made in 1936, 10 years later, have special importance apart from all other meetings, because, in this period, reforms were created, they were started to be included in the system, and for this reason, many targets were tried to be placed in the system with the 1936 program. The importance of the 1936 program is that it is a system for practice and practicality rather than a rote system. In this way, students will develop more within observation and examination with practice-based teaching rather than rote learning (Kıncal, 1990; Oz, 2014).

According to Şimşek (2004), the Turkish Education System, which is constantly changing, unfortunately, cannot have permanent features. The system, which has not been able to become a long-term program, is far from meeting the needs of the century. Therefore the goals are focused on moving from old classical information to being open towards innovation and innovation (Şimşek, 2004). In the current period, as a result of the new education system, some expectations have been introduced in the production of knowledge rather than the circulation of knowledge only without creativity in it. It is not the one who accepts the information conveyed to him by the contemporary world and accepts that it is the same; It can be said that he is an individual who actively participates in the process of creating meaning by interpreting the knowledge he has acquired(Yıldırım&Şimşek, 1999).

In the same context, there are municipal centres in Turkey where children can spend their free time. In Denmark, there are students appointed or selected to organize cooperation between students. In Turkey, on the other hand, there is a seating arrangement applied to provide classroom orders. Therefore, students work on project-based learning techniques that are planned according to the column row. The practice of informing parents about learning outcomes as well as education is common in Denmark )Your &Keskin, 2012)

Constructivism has been defined as a theory that has begun to develop with details about the way that students learn knowledge. Afterwards, it turned into an approach regarding how students get knowledge construct knowledge (Demirel, 2000). The current curriculum in Turkey needs constant renewal due to various factors. The factors mentioned are; technological developments, the transition phase from an industrial society to an information society, the innovation of educational sciences, the importance of trained manpower with their perspectives on the European Union, and government policies (Erdem, 2001). After all these factors, diverse curricula drafts were prepared by taking the opinions and suggestions of trainers, academicians, and inspectors from various provinces of Turkey (MEB, 2005). The most important feature of the curriculum is that students are removed from the rote system; It is aimed to develop permanent teaching practices based on practice. The aim of realizing new understandings such as developing problem-solving skills, understanding and realizing the value of knowledge, supporting correct decision making, and active participation in life has been stated and aimed in the prepared curriculum (MEB, 2005).

The new curricula based on the constructivist education approach, which were prepared in 2004 and put into practice since 2005 (Boydak, 2008; Sünbül, 2010), show a contradictory appearance with their practical dimension. Today, one paradigm that has collapsed has been replaced by another. In the past, when the behaviourist approach was almost blessed, it affected every area of the education system and was effective, but today this situation has been destroyed, and new problems that cannot be solved have taken their place. If the contradictions experienced in the goals and practices aren’t resolved, it is impossible to foresee future wounds and the damage they will cause. More effort will be spent to remove the damage that has occurred. Therefore, these contradictions need to be resolved and clarified. Erman (2016) focused on what the education system in Turkey needs to improve and pointed out the problems that exist based on the similar and different aspects of education systems in Germany, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey; The study was based on the important factors (demographic composition of the country, language, the historical development of the education system, authority and supervision in the education system, etc.) that make up the background of the education system in Germany(Erman, 2016).In this context, similar characteristics were identified between the terms of the education system in Turkey and France in terms of course content and number of courses, but some differences were noted (Sahinek and Erkan, 2013).

2023 Vision:

In line with the development of education and technological renaissance with “Vision 2030 Education”, many education plans, projects, and programs have been developed regarding the Basic education phase. The training programs and action plans related to Vision 20 are explained by the relevant institution as follows:

When the neighborhood culture, which has a significant impact on the formation of society, is combined with Education, it is aimed to establish school-neighborhood sports clubs in each registration region so that the school and children can progress as a part of this development.It aims to simplify the language of basic Education and organize it in a way that attracts the attention and interest of students, with awareness of the importance of strengthening the foundations of education that will be provided in the relevant periods, that is, during the primary and secondary levels, which form the basis of life. Design skill workshops will also be established as concrete examples of this understanding.

Practice and experience will be created as the basic axis. The protection and development of Turkish will be the largest foundation. In this case, which can also be called the backbone of education, other goals will develop through this spine. the primary school is shaped on the axis of Turkish, mathematics, and culture-arts sports A pedagogical-educational process will be built that is interested in Turkish affairs, can identify and predict the subtleties of the Turkish language, and supports its use both locally and internationally. The mentioned skills will be consistent with contemporary requirements and will progress within the framework of international research and standards.

These and similar efforts will focus on:

-More importance will be given to the growth characteristics of primary school children by increasing rest times through lessons.. • Great importance will be attached to the development and protection of Turkish. • Curriculum will be tailored to students and appeal to students’ interests and abilities. • The holistic development of students will be taken as a basis by reducing course weights. • For each semester, course programs will be arranged under the ages of the students. • Students Will be have a lunch system during the education process. • It is planned to completely abolish Dual Education. • To increase the sensitivity of students, entrepreneurship will be introduced and they will be motivated to solve social problems. • The homework system will be restructured in terms of deficiencies in learning. • Students will be able to participate in an exchange program with different regions in the summer term by using facilities such as boarding schools. • Quality will be increasing in the regions where schools are located by cooperating with science centers, art centers, museums, libraries, techno parks, and universities. • Integrated or extracurricular activities will be created with the lessons, where students can learn concepts and features such as culture, art, production, folklore, local food, games, animal species belonging to their region.

Turkish primary level’s courses:

As a result, it can be said that Turkey has made a lot of effort towards developing its educational curricula based on the 2023 vision by deepening the use of technology in education and paying attention to the biological and psychological aspects of the child as well as developing teaching methods, but there are still gaps between theory and practice.

  1. Conclusion:

From the foregoing, we can say that the primary school curricula in Middle Eastern schools are characterized by the following:

-The density of theoretical information and the low level of the practical side.

-Building the curriculum on partisan ideological foundations

-Severe centralization in curriculum design and implementation

-There is not enough space for freedom of education sub-directors

-Lack of a clear vision in curriculum development and planning

  1. Acknowledge:

This research paper has been prepared by efforts of researchers to reach a clear vision about education curriculum in the Middle East based on accurate data, with gratitude to UNICEF, UNESCO, and the World Bank.


1.Abdel Aziz, T. (2016). The Image of Religion in School Programs: A Comparative Analytical Study of Islamic Education Textbooks between the Basic and Primary Schools. PhD. Thesis, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Mohamed Khoudir, Algeria.

2.Abtahi, S .(2018). Illiteracy rates in iran rise from 9.5 million to 11 million. Salamatnews. 26-September, Iran. 1/10/2019 tarihindegirilmiştir.

3.Abu Jeli, M. (2006). Strategic Objectives of Education in Syria. Lebanese Educational Sciences Authority, (12), 43-58.4.Ajuz, Z .(2016). Half of Turkey’s population are women and illiteracy rate is 9.2%. 7-march. Turky. 1/10/2019 tarihindegirilmiştir.

5.Ali, Medin. (2017). Strategies of Education in Syria: a critical view from the perspective of the political economy of Education in Syria. Damascus Center For Research and Studies(DCRS).

6.Alomary, B. (2014). Education in the Islamic World (Education System in Tunisia- Comparative Study With Saudi Arabia (Unpublished master dissertation). king Abdullah University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

7.Ansari, Z. (2012). Project Oriented Education. Taban, Iran.

8.Arabia. (2020). A primary school in Syria.

9.Armouti, A. (2020). Minister of National Education: New Education System Takes Back Egypt’s Soft Power in the Middle East. Tarık Şallı: Willing to Improve the Condition of Qualified Teachers. The New Curriculum is 100 Percent Corn Product, and We Have Its Intellectual Property Rights. Al Yaum Al Sabe, Egypt.

10.Badran, S. (2004). Comparative Education-Studies in Education Systems, 4th Edition. Alexandria: Study of University Knowledge.

11.Bursalim, A., Arvi, M., &Vagargah, F. (2017). Design a model for the global citizenship curriculum in an Iranian primary school: a model derived from citizenship-based theory. Journal of Educational Sciences, 13(3), 7- 36. DOI: 10.22051/jontoe.2017.14097.1688

12.Caliper Corporation (2019, October 10). Retrieved from

13.Cetin, M. (2018). Reciprocal Analysis of Social Studies Curriculum of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Turkey. Anatolian Educational Leadership Teaching Journal, 6 (1), 389-405.

14.Constitution of Egypt. (2013). Education system of Egypt-Article 19.

15.Demirel, O. (2000). Curriculum Development in Education. Ankara: Pegem A. Publishing House

16.Egypt Ministry of educatıon. (2021). Ministry books.-

17.Erdem, E. (2001). Constructivist Approach in Curriculum Development, Unpublished Master Thesis. Hacettepe University, Institute of Social Sciences, Ankara.

18.Erman, S. (2016). “Comparison of Educational Systems of Germany, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey”. Manas Journal of Social Research, 5(2). 413-475.

19.Faraj, M. (2018). Tarek Shawky, Egyptian Minister of Education: The New Educational Philosophy Is Rooted in Egypt’s Vision. Montana, Eygpt.

20.Giménez, Víctor., Thieme, Claudio., Prior, Diego &Tortosa-Ausina, Emili.(2017). An international comparison of educational systems: a temporal analysis in presence of bad outputs.  Journal of Productivity Analysis, 47(1),  64-82. DOI: 10.1007/s11123-017-0491-9

21.Hammond, Linda & McCloskey,  Laura. (2008). Assessment for Learning around the World What Would it Mean to Be Internationally Competitive?. DOI: 10.1177/003172170809000407. ttps://

22.Hendrickson,  K.( 2011). Assessment in Finland: A Scholarly Reflection on One Country’s Use of Formative, Summative, and Evaluative Practices. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 25)1), 210-232.

23.Hossam, H. (2018). 23.2 Million Students in Pre-University Education, Day 7, link:

24.Ismail, T. (2017). Pre-University Education Strategic Plan 2014-203 Critical Analytical Studies, Educational and Psychological Studies. Journal of Zagazig Faculty of Education, 96(1).

25.Kakojoibari, A., Pour, A &Zadeh, S. (2008). Facts and Perspectives of the Special Education System: A comparative study of Iran with several developed countries.  Research on Exceptional Children, 8(3), 324-341.

26.Kincal, R. (1990). The importance of Demographic, Economic, Political and Cultural Factors in the Preparation of Primary School Curriculum (1936 Primary School Program) in Turkey. First National Congress of Educational Sciences, Ankara: AU EBF Publications.

27.Mohammed, A. (2009). A New School System in Syria. A Conflicting Pilot Project with Limited Competencies, Syria.

28.Nerad, A., &Zakati, D. (2009). A Comparative Study of Teacher Education Curriculum in England, Japan, France, Malaysia and Iran, Educational Innovation. Quarterly Journal, 1(26), 174-196.

29.Osmanoglu, A. (2014). A Comparative Analysis of Ottoman Perception in Social Studies Textbooks in Turkey and Egypt. Journal of Dicle University ZiyaGökalp Faculty of Education, 22 (1), 94-107.

30.Oz, A. (2014). Religious Education in Scientific Committee Meetings and National Education Councils. Sakarya Univ. Journal of the Faculty of Theology, 16(29), 130-131.

31.Peter, F. Oliva., & William, R. Gordon ll. (2018). Program development Translation editor: –KerimGündoğdu, 8th Edition. Translated by Özyurt Printing: Ankara.

32.Raed, M. (2012). General Origins in Geopolitics with an applied study on the middle east. Egypt: Dar al Hindawi.

33.Şahenk, Senem and Erkan, Seda. (2013). Comparison of Turkey-France Primary Education Systems and English Curriculum. Turkish Studies – International Periodical For The Languages, Literature And History Of Turkish Or Turkic Volume, 8(8), 1207-1221.

34.Salsabili, N. (2007). The transition of the curriculum planning system in Iran towards decentralization in curriculum design and development with a focus on school curriculum planning. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1)4(, 49-68.

35.Sayed, M. (2012). Education System in Syria. “Reality and Challenges”. Damascus Journal Arabic Language Complex, 86(4).

36.Sayyid, M. (2019). Egypt’s Education Strategy and Economic Development, Arab Democratic Center, Title of Its Civilization as a Basis for Berlin.

37.Sheriff, Reza. (2013). Curriculum Planning Study in Iran’s Primary Education System. Quarterly Journal of Education, 3(30), 135-157.

38.Simsek, N. (2004). A Critical View on the Constructivist Approach. Journal of Educational Sciences and Practice, 3 (5), 115-139.

39.Syrian Baathist Pioneer organization. (2011). Office of Children’s Creativity and Invention.

40.Syrıan Ministry of Culture. (2010). Syria gets illiteracy with the weapon of law.  Etihad. ae. Electronic Newspaper,22-October, Damascus 3/10/2019 tarihindegirilmiştir.

-Syrian Ministry of National Education (2020). 2020 Curriculum.

41.Tagus, Mohammed Saeed. (2019). A Framework Approach to Problems and Needs on the Philosophy of School Science Education in Syria. Damascus Research and Studies Center, Damascus.

42.Talaba, Rajab. (2012) Basic Education in Egypt from 1990 to 2010, a critical analytical study in light of the Education for All conferences, PhD thesis, Institute of Educational Studies, Department of Teaching Foundations, Cairo University.

43.Taşkıran, H., & Tarik, R. (2019). A Comparative Study of the Periods of the Four Caliphs in Secondary School Islamic History Textbooks in Iran and Turkey. BEÜ SBE Journal. 8 (1), 12-29.

44.Tekgöz, M. (2017). Comparative Educational Analysis of Germany Body Württemberg State Primary Education Program and Turkey Primary School Epithymia Program (PhD Thesis). Obtained from the National Thesis Center of the Council of Higher Education.

45.The world bank ( 2019, October 1).  Anew framework for educatıon in The Middle East and North Africa World Bank Report about Educatıon ın the Middle East.  Retrieved from

46.UNICEF (2015-2016). Analysis of the Education Sector in Syria.

47.Woolman, D. (2014). Post-colonial educational reconstruction and curriculum development: a comparative study of four countries. International Education Journal, 2(5), 27-46, 356-378.

48.Yıldırım, A., &Şimşek, H. (1999). Qualitative Research Methods. Ankara: Seçkin Publishing House.

49.Yüceer, Deniz&Keskin, Sevgi. (2012). Comparison Education Systems Of Denmark And Turkey At Primary Level. OndokuzMayisUnivEgitimFakultesi, 31(1), 325-349. Doi: 10.7822/Egt105

50.Gunderson, C. (2003). Countries of The Middle East, US: Press publishing.

51.Philips, D., & Schweisfurth, M. (2008). Comparative and İnternational Education, Continuum. Londra: International Publishing Group.

52.Olinger, J., & Trainer, M. (2012). Introduction to the İmportance of Primary Education. globalcitiz. www.

5/5 - (2 صوتين)

المركز الديمقراطى العربى

المركز الديمقراطي العربي مؤسسة مستقلة تعمل فى اطار البحث العلمى والتحليلى فى القضايا الاستراتيجية والسياسية والاقتصادية، ويهدف بشكل اساسى الى دراسة القضايا العربية وانماط التفاعل بين الدول العربية حكومات وشعوبا ومنظمات غير حكومية.

مقالات ذات صلة

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى