08 September '16..
Palestinian schoolchildren who returned to their schools last week are being taught that women are witches and Tel Aviv is an Arab city. They are also being exposed to maps that ignore Israel's existence.
Despite all Palestinian Authority (PA) claims to the contrary, then, the new textbooks hardly promote peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israel.
A new school curriculum published by the PA last week has drawn sharp criticism from many Palestinians, who say the textbooks demonize women and contain "factual and historical" errors.
The controversial version of the curriculum for grades 1-4 was launched by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a ceremony in Ramallah, on the eve of beginning of the new school year.
Within hours, Palestinians, particularly female activists, voiced resentment over the new curriculum and called on the PA leadership to remove it immediately. Some Palestinians denounced the curriculum, which was drafted by a team of Palestinian educational experts, as a "scandal" and a "distortion of facts." They said that a curriculum full of errors and "distortions of facts" was a guaranteed recipe for raising a new generation of illiterate and misinformed Palestinians.
PA officials, arguing that the new curriculum was an experimental one and is open for amendments and development, have promised to make corrections in the textbooks.
So what exactly is it that enraged the critics about the new textbooks, prompting such sarcasm concerning the education process in Palestinian schools?
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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blog
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