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Monday, 30 July 2018

El Sisi declares 2019 the Year of Education

El Sisi declares 2019 the “Year of Education”: 2019 will be Egypt’s “year of education,” President Abdel Fattah El Sisi declared during the second day of this month’s youth conference at Cairo University. Human development is a key pillar of the government’s vision, the president said, so his administration’s human development strategy will not only focus on education, but will include health, culture and sports policies, El Sisi said during his speech. His remarks come a day after Education Minister Tarek Shawki presented details on Egypt’s new K-12 education reform plan, which will aims to end rote memorization, expand the use of foreign languages and technology, and develop a GPA system not fully weighted to final exams. El Sisi announced a number of other decisions at the conference including:

  • Allocating 20% of all government scholarship funding for those studying to become teachers;
  • Establishing a government center to educate future teachers;
  • Establishing government-funded incubators to help develop startups;
  • Tasking the Madbouly Cabinet with developing a comprehensive higher education research program.

This comes as Egypt is planning to build 100 new Japanese-curriculum schools in the next four years, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said at the conference, Youm7 reports. The government also plans to develop 112 already-established schools to implement the Japanese curriculum over the same time period, Madbouly said.

El Sisi also took the time to discuss his administration’s economic reform drive, telling participants at the conference that they will need to be patient before seeing results and underscoring that there was no other path for the administration to take. He defended reforms during the Q&A portion of the conference, according to Al Mal.

International media coverage of the event was almost exclusively focused on his comments regarding social media backlash prompted by the austerity measures. El Sisi had noted his dismay at a trending Twitter hashtag calling for his exit from office; that was about the only coverage the foreign press noted about the education-focused event. The press also picked up on the president’s joking dismissal of the social media craze over the “Kiki dance” challenge.

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