‘Harassment and equality’: Lessons that saved Egypt’s 4th primary grade curriculum from criticism

“Nice touches”, “unkind touches”, “revealing harm”, “harm is not your fault”, “seek protection immediately”, “Your bodies are special and have privacy”.

Under these headings, an Arabic language curriculum for fourth grade primary students explains how children should confront harassment.

The lesson, titled “A message from our fathers and mothers”, stated that each child has their own body, distinguished by privacy.

It explained the difference between good touches such as hugs from parents, and unpleasant touches that make them feel uncomfortable.

The lesson alerted the students to immediately go to one of the parents to report any unpleasant touches from others.

Social media users shared a picture of the anti-harassment awareness lesson, which was published by Director of the Curriculum Development Center at the Ministry of Education and Technical Education Nawal Shalaby’s personal page.

Users praised the development of the curricula for the primary school classes. “Etkalem/y” (Speak Up) page dug into the curricula and found another lesson that discussed the issue of equality between men and women in society.

The page praised the content provided by the primary grade curricula, saying: “Last year, the curriculum included lessons about the conditions of an ideal wife, as if women only exist to make men happy.

This year, children are told that a girl is like a boy, and credit many things around us to women; “Because one is not better than the other.”

“Education is one of the most important means of awareness and the messages that reach children at these stages are extremely important,” the page added.

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