World bank pro­vid­ing $500m to im­prove pub­lic Egyp­tian schools

AGREE­MENT WILL BE SIGNED AT SPRING MEET­INGS IN WASH­ING­TON DC, NASR SAYS

The Daily News Egypt - - News - By Ha­gar Om­ran

The World Bank an­nounced a new $500m in­vest­ment for ed­u­ca­tional re­forms in Egypt. The sum, specif­i­cally, is to sup­port in­creas­ing ac­cess to qual­ity kinder­garten ed­u­ca­tion, im­prove learn­ing, and adopt tech­nol­ogy in pub­lic schools to achieve re­form ob­jec­tives.

The project will ex­pand ac­cess to qual­ity kinder­garten for around 500,000 chil­dren, train 500,000 teach­ers and ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials, while pro­vid­ing 1.5 mil­lion stu­dents and teach­ers with dig­i­tal learn­ing re­sources, said a Satur­day state­ment from the World Bank of­fice in Cairo.

The five-year Sup­port­ing Egypt Ed­u­ca­tion Re­form Project will help trans­form the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem through bold mod­erni­sa­tion ini­tia­tives, added the state­ment, not­ing that the project is aligned with the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy: Egypt Vi­sion 2030,which puts a strong em­pha­sis on the crit­i­cal role of the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor’s re­form in Egypt’s so­cial trans­for­ma­tion.

“In­vest­ing in peo­ple is key to in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth.We wel­come the World Bank’s sup­port for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of our am­bi­tious home­grown ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor re­form pro­gramme. 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,” said Egypt’s Min­is­ter of In­vest­ment and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Sa­har Nasr, who also rep­re­sents Egypt on the World Bank’s board of gov­er­nors.

Nasr added in a state­ment from her min­istry that the World Bank’s new fi­nan­cial sup­port re­flects its un­prece­dented level of co­op­er­a­tion with Egypt to sup­port ed­u­ca­tional re­form as a main pil­lar of in­clu­sive so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, which is con­sid­ered a pri­or­ity for Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi.

“The tim­ing of the new fi­nance is ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause it sup­ports the gov­ern­men­tal pol­icy for de­vel­op­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that was dis­cussed re­cently, aim­ing to im­prove the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion to the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards,” the state­ment said.

The min­is­ter added that she looks for­ward to sign­ing the fi­nan­cial agree­ment for the ed­u­ca­tional sup­port with the World Bank next week dur­ing her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the IMF and World Bank’s spring meet­ings, which will be held from 20 to 22 April in Wash­ing­ton DC.

The World Bank’s state­ment added that the project aims to achieve its goals by im­prov­ing ac­cess to, and the qual­ity of, early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ing a re­li­able stu­dent as­sess­ment and ex­am­i­na­tion sys­tem.

The project aims to en­hance the ca­pac­i­ties of teach­ers, ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers, and su­per­vi­sors, and use mod­ern tech­nol­ogy for teach­ing and learn­ing, as­sess­ing stu­dents, and col­lect­ing data, as well as ex­pand­ing the use of dig­i­tal learn­ing re­sources.

“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 Egypt’s Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Tarek Shawky.

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

The World Bank fi­nances many pro­grams to help Egypt re­duce poverty and boost shared pros­per­ity.The fo­cus of Bank sup­port in­cludes so­cial safety nets, en­ergy, trans­port, ru­ral wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, ir­ri­ga­tion, so­cial hous­ing, health care, job cre­ation, and fi­nanc­ing for mi­cro and small en­ter­prises.

The World Bank cur­rently has a port­fo­lio of 16 projects with a to­tal com­mit­ment of $6.69 bn.

The World Bank cur­rently has a port­fo­lio of 16 projects in Egypt with a to­tal com­mit­ment of $6.69 bn

Egypt’s Min­is­ter of In­vest­ment and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Sa­har Nasr

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