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Monday, 10 January 2022

MENA’s first Finnish-British school is coming to SODIC East

SODIC East to see MENA’s first Finnish-British school: Upmarket real estate developer SODIC has signed an agreement to set up a Finnish-British school in its SODIC East project with Finnish British Consortium for Investment (FBC) and Finnish Global Education Solutions (FGES), SODIC announced in a press release (pdf).

The school is slated to begin operating in 2023, following the planned launch of the first phases of SODIC’s East Cairo mixed-use development this year.

About the school: The English-language Finnish British School (FBS) will teach the British curriculum and IB, using the Finnish system of holistic, phenomenon-based learning (where students learn through interdisciplinary projects rather than subject by subject). The “sports-focused” school will be associated with Finland’s Espoo International School for exchange programs and mentorship on implementing the IB curriculum. The principals will be Finnish, while the teaching staff will be international.

The project comes as part of Finland’s education diplomacy: FGES was launched with support of the Finnish education ministry as part of the country’s drive to export its education system, according to the statement. The school will be run under the supervision of a Finnish government body linked to its education ministry. The agreement with SODIC was inked in Helsinki in the presence of Egypt’s ambassador to Finland and Finland’s dedicated education ambassador. The signing coincided with Education Minister Tarek Shawki’s first visit to Finland, where he met with FGES representatives, the press release said.

More to come? FBC aims to establish six Finnish-British schools and an international university in Egypt over the next decade, at an initial investment cost of EGP 1.2 bn, CEO Karim El Safty said.

This is the first big announcement out of Sodic since Aldar Properties and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ in December acquired 85.5% of the company in an all-cash, EGP 6.1 bn transaction. SODIC shareholders will vote on the company’s new board of directors at an extraordinary general meeting on Sunday, 16 January.

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