Do you know Egypt is part of what’s been called the cradle of civilization? It has successfully developed over thousands of years, and its people have greatly contributed to our present-day appreciation for math, science, and art.
Early civilization is a credible influence on the education system in Egypt. Early Egyptian education was practical, technical, professional, and utilitarian. It was aimed at establishing social stability by slotting the various classes into their social, political, and economic classes.
Early Egyptian education also preferred a religious view of the world. Education thus contained religious and philosophical studies to achieve society’s beliefs and ideals.
At the turn of the 21st century, the government of Egypt began to give greater priority to improving the education system. With the help of the World Bank and other multilateral organizations, Egypt was able to increase access to care and education in early childhood and the inclusion of information and communication technology (ICT) at all levels of education, especially at the tertiary level.
In 2008, Egypt launched its National Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education Reform. The Strategic Plan, which has the subtitle Towards an Educational Paradigm Shift,” mirrors Egypt’s commitment to a comprehensive, sustainable, and collective approach towards ensuring quality education for all and developing a knowledge society.
In 2018, Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education launched an ambitious series of reforms to align with the country’s newly developed 2030 Strategic Vision for social and economic change, with a dedicated 7th pillar for education and training. The educational reforms aspired to bring large-scale transformation to the country’s education system, which had consistently faced persistent strains related to a rapidly increasing student population, deteriorating teaching quality, rigid curriculum, inequality, uncertain political will for change, and a lack of resources. Known as Education 2.0, the reforms sought to modernize the country’s education system and improve the quality of education for K–12 schooling.
Over the past three years, Egypt has worked to transform education into a competency-based system, amending 30 educational programs and adding new ones.
In August 2022, Egypt’s Ministry of Education announced the launch of the National Strategy to Reform and Develop Technical Education (“TE 2.0”) to meet the needs of the workforce market according to international standards as well as the latest developments considering the new curricula and systems of technical education in the country.
In total, 85 curricula have been re-developed and reformed. The new curricula will be applied to all students in the first secondary class in private and public schools already implementing the new programs.
The Minister of Education approved the evaluation system for technical education, which is based on formative assessment and allows following up on students’ progress. Its plan is to train the cadres of the Technical Education System in various programs, such as the TVET program, which is being funded by the EU and the Egyptian government. The project provides technical support to comprehensive technical education, which is funded by the German Government through the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH, and the Egypt Workforce project, funded by USAID Egypt.
The Technical Education 2.0 program was prompted in part, by evaluations of Egypt’s TVET sector by the World Bank between 2012 and 2014, which showed that Egypt was giving more importance to the number of students passing through the system than the quality of education.
Currently, there are around 2.2 million students in technical education, a higher number than the 1.9 million in secondary education. More students go for technical education, maybe due to not getting the minimum grades for secondary education, which is the number one choice as it leads to university education.
Egypt has started to implement changes in its 2,300 technical schools through the TE 2.0 strategy to provide jobs to graduates after three years of training, at 18 to 19 years of age. The technical education sector is divided into four categories. About half of the students (1.1 million) are in industrial training, followed by commercial technical education at 0.9 million. The latter is popular with young women, accounting for 65% of students. The other categories are agriculture and tourism.
Educational skills are also being amended to reflect job opportunities outside of Egypt, as the economy is not able to absorb all graduates into the workplace. All technical schools are expected to have adopted the competency-based approach by September 2024, and all teachers will be evaluated.
Vocational and technical training is not a new concept in Egypt, but it is crucial. To provide the necessary skilled labor and curb the unemployment rate, the focus on vocational and technical training must continue.