Photograph — Jonathan Rashad

“Strengthening the education system is critical to improving productivity and promoting growth. By focusing on strengthening learning conditions, young Egyptians will be better prepared for higher paying and skilled jobs of the future.” –  Dr. Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

Today, the World Bank announced a $500 million investment in Egypt’s education reforms. The investment is meant to help improve the quality of learning by training 500,000 teachers and education officials, increase access to quality kindergarten education for about 500,000 children, and facilitate the adoption of tech by providing 1.5 million students and teachers with digital learning resources as a means to achieve the country’s reform objectives.

The education reform project is billed to aid the transformation of the education system through bold modern initiatives. It is in line with Egypt’s 2030 Vision sustainable development strategy, which puts a strong emphasis on the reformation of its education sector for the country’s social transformation.

The project is also in line with Goal 4 of the global Sustainable Development Goals; which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all so that by 2030, every child has access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education. And also to substantially increase the number of qualified teachers globally, all of which the project is geared towards.

Egypt has one of the best education systems in the Middle East and North Africa, still, it is lacking in areas including of accountability, overcrowded classrooms, and meagre pay for teachers. As part of the reform, the government hopes to improve on these by developing a reliable student assessment and examination system, enhancing the capacity of teachers, education leaders and supervisors, and using modern technology for teaching, learning, assessing students, and collecting data.

“September 2018 marks the start of the journey to make our students ready for life, and we are pleased to have this partnership with the World Bank to accompany us on that journey. Our goal is to provide our students with the competencies they need to create a society that learns, thinks and innovates,” said Dr. Tarek Shawki, Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education.

According to Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, investing in people is key to inclusive economic growth and the support of the World Bank is welcomed. “It is a strategic opportunity and the government is fully committed to developing the education system to build a productive generation that is well-equipped and ready for the competitive world,” he said.

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