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Egypt's schools to get $500m World Bank boost

An Egyptian primary student solves a math problem in Giza, Cairo [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 April, 2018

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The loan will cover one-quarter of Egypt's new Education Development Plan that will be executed over the next 14 years.

The World Bank approved on Monday a $500 million loan for Egyptian educational development after a recent visit scrutinised the Ministry of Education's programme, according to Egypt Independent.

The money will focus on developing early childhood education and better training for teachers. The ministry also plans to incorporate more technology in the educational curricula.

"The World Bank loan comes at a critical time," said Tarek Shawki, Egypt's minister of education. "It directly supports the country's education and development strategy, which aims to achieve a qualitative and comprehensive transition to the national education system in line with international education standards."

The $500m sum will cover about one quarter of the $2b Education Development Plan that Egypt will execute over the next 14 years.

Shawki also said the ministry plans to enhance the quality of state-owned schools. Most observers say the rigour of education at these institutions has often fallen behind private and international schools in Egypt.

Shawki added there are plans to expand educational access to the large number of Egyptian students seeking education.

According to the 2013-2014 Global Competiveness Report, Egypt ranks as the worst country in the world in terms of the quality of primary education. Critics say the curriculum prioritises rote memorisation rather than practical skills. 

The partially World Bank-funded Education Development Plan will replace the existing educational system in Egypt.

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