A public elementary school in upper Manhattan is requiring its students to learn Arabic. The reason given for this decision, according to Nicky Kram Rosen, principal of PS 368, is that the school can get International Baccalaureate Standing more easily.
In September, all 200 students in second through fifth grade will be taught the language twice a week for 45 minutes, just as much time as is spent on science and music. Rosen apparently selected Arabic instead of the more traditional French or Spanish because that was more valued in the International Baccalaureate standards.
Angela Jackson, CEO of the Global Language Project, which backs Rosen’s plan, said, “She proposed this to the parent association. They were very supportive. Arabic has been identified as a critical-need language. It means they can spin the globe and decide where they want to work and live.” Jackson added that if a student objects to learning Arabic, administrators will deal with that on a case-by-case basis.
The teacher of the pilot program that is already in place, Mohamed Mamdouh, said, “Soon, Arabic will be a global language like French and Spanish. These kids are like sponges. It’s amazing to see their progress.”The IB program, first developed in Switzerland in the 1960’s, first took hold in the United States in private schools as an alternative to the AP program. At its inception in 1968 until 1976, the program was financed partly by UNESCO. Now associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, it endorsed the Earth Charter, a declaration of principles of sustainability that came out of the UN In the fall of 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave the program a three-year $2.4 million grant.
So the UN, which is dominated in numbers by Arabic-speaking countries, can now surreptitiously train our youngsters to prepare for the future by learning Arabic in schools. At what point does the indoctrination come to a halt?