Many Arabic language books for first and second grade are brimming with grammatical and spelling errors, new research has found.
An extensive study, conducted over the last few months by the Arab Culture Association, examined hundreds of textbooks in Arabic approved by the Education Ministry. The researchers, Rosalind Daim and Dr. Elias Atallah, also gave out 287 questionnaires to teachers in 24 Arab communities.
The results of the study show the textbooks are full of spelling and grammatical errors, and that a direct link can be demonstrated between the poor quality of the books and the poor level of Arabic among first and second graders.
The conclusions of the study have been sent to the attorney general and to the State Comptroller's office. Dr. Rawda Atallah, the director of the association, wrote in an accompanying letter that out of the 400 books examined for the research, only 20% comply with standard educational requirements.
Rawda Atallah also said some 4,000 errors have been discovered in books for the second grade alone, and some books have been poorly translated from Hebrew, instead of being based on study materials written in original and proper Arabic.
The Education Ministry said in a statement that "the Arabic education department and the textbooks authority will examine all textbooks for the Arab sector. As of today, the textbooks were examined pedagogically, but not linguistically, as the authors of the book are legally bound to produce their own confirmations of the grammatical correction of any books submitted to the ministry. From now on, the ministry will examine all books linguistically as well as pedagogically."