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Education min.: Textbooks to be available in schools within days

Mon, Oct. 8, 2018
CAIRO – 8 October 2018: Minister of Education Tarek Shawki said that the delay in the distribution of textbooks to schools will be resolved within days, and the ministry will hold those responsible for the delay accountable.

This comes in response to the parents’ complaints about not receiving the textbooks on time.

Abeer Ahmed, one of the parents, called upon the Ministry of Education to clarify the reasons behind the lack of textbooks in several schools three weeks after the beginning of the first term, asserting the necessity of assuring the parents and distributing the “Parents’ Guide” to help them get acquainted with the new system.

In the same context, Mona Mohamed, a mother of a first primary student, referred that the new educational system will create substantial change in developing the assessment system and examination.

However, she added, the ministry should raise awareness about the new educational system among parents, as many of them do not know anything about the new curriculum or the new books.

Also, a parent named Ahmed Hussein said that some schools have not provided the main high level English textbooks which are not sold at other places.

In a press conference held on October 4, Shawki stated the reforms carried out in the educational system had “exceeded all expectations”, and the remaining student books and teacher guides will be distributed by the end of the week.

Under the new educational system, the secondary students have access to the internet and are linked to the Egyptian Knowledge Bank, an electronic educational encyclopedia. In addition, separate science and arts sections no longer exist.

“Five million parents are satisfied with the new educational system,” said Shawki.
He added that the latest shipment of 100,000 Samsung tablets had been received. The Education Ministry has set a target of 1 million tablets, worth LE 1.4 billion, to be distributed among secondary students.

The Ministry of Education has taken several steps to enhance education in Egypt, which is part of Egypt’s 2030 vision to cultivate economic and social justice and revive the role of Egypt in the region.

First Arabic Citation Index worldwide

Minister of Education and Technical Education Shawki, a representative of the Knowledge Bank, signed on May 28 a protocol with Clarivate Analytics to launch the first Arabic citation index worldwide.

The signing ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem, head of Bibliotheca Alexandrina Mostafa el-Feki, several public figures, members of Parliament, and Ministry of Education's officials.

“The ARCI will be powered by the Web of Science – the world’s most trusted and only publisher – neutral citation index for researchers in Egypt and across the 22 member states of the Arab League,” according to Clarivate Analytics’ website.

Shawki remarked that the index offers a real opportunity to invest in the field of scientific research, an easy access to Arabic scholarly content and the first ever mapping of Arabic scholarly literature.

He further remarked that the Ministry of Education is building a new system of education based on research, and hence it launched the Knowledge Bank, Egypt’s leading digital library and online knowledge hub, which is part of Egypt’s 2030 Vision to transform Egypt into a “knowledge economy”.

“Egypt’s 2030 Vision can be achieved only through changing the education system,” Shawki stressed, adding that the index will help Egypt export knowledge and thus enter the field of knowledge economy.

He further revealed that certified entities are not found to evaluate researches published in Arabic, but journals will be available in Arabic on the index for citation and evaluating the quality and research output of Arabic researchers.

“We need to establish an Arabic council to index journals and researches, and Egypt is leading a major process by indexing and exporting research abroad; there is considerable support from the political leadership in this matter," Shawki said.

The new system of education

In the same context, he mentioned that the index is included in the new system of education at the secondary school, stressing that the Ministry of Education agreed with many international entities to buy their content and provide Egyptian students with that content, in addition to buying 2D and 3D films, as well as 5,700 videos in English and Arabic. He said that these movies, Al-Adwaa book and other scientific content will be put on the tablets.

He stated that a random exam will be prepared every week to encourage students to come to schools.

“The new system is better than the existing one, and 2,500 schools are being prepared with internet access of around 100 megabytes at each school,” Shawki said.

In early June, the ministry will declare its plan to train teachers in partnership with several companies, including Discovery Company and the Education First program.

Shawki announced that Thanaweya Amma students of one school will take their unified exam that is different from another school’s unified exam. Currently, Thanaweya Amma students nationwide take the same unified exam in each subject.

Shawki said that Egypt will sign a deal with the World Bank for $500 million to fund the government’s plan in the presence of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr in Washington.

Japanese schools

The minister of education said in a press statement that the Egyptian-Japanese schools’ curriculum will be in Arabic in the primary school.

The Japanese education system, Tokkatsu, will be applied at 40 Egyptian-Japanese schools in different governorates in September.

A total of 20,000 teachers applied to the ministry for training in the Japanese Tokkatsu education system.

Shawki added that the ministry held a meeting on June 4 to choose 1,500 students for Japanese schools.

Tokkastu is an educational system known in Japan that develops all the skills of the student, focusing on creativity and thinking rather than memorization and indoctrination.

The activities of the system allow students to practice teamwork and collaborate with colleagues to reach goals. Tokkatsu is applied to students within a class of no more than 40 students.

Activities also aim at building personality, teamwork skills, belonging, hygiene values, self-esteem, responsibility and critical thinking.

The Tokkastu system promotes students' self-confidence through several activities and skills. Pupils also design activities and set goals for themselves.

Secondary schools’ exams

To fight cheating and repeated Thanaweya Amma exam leaks, modern techniques will be used this year to monitor and control cheating pages on social media and take strict legal measures with anyone participating in leaking the exams, as part of the Interior Ministry’s plan.

Leaking exams has been a commonly widespread phenomenon in Egypt in recent years.

Social media and smartphones made it easier for exams to be leaked. Therefore, the government introduced a new high school examination paper, called the “Booklet”, designed to put an end to online cheating and exam leaks.
 
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