Minister of Education Tarek Shawki – Photo courtesy of his official Facebook page
CAIRO – 4 March 2019: The educational system in Egypt was in dire need of radical changes; a swept renewal for all old traditional curricula.
Traditional curricula that depended mainly on memorizing to get high marks and join prestigious faculties go in vain; as they bring up empty-minded generations. Since students are occupied with browsing and social media, curricula should be modernized and modified to address students’ needs and grasp their attention.
Any educational curriculum should be based upon certain criteria that include morals and lessons, beneficial information, clear ideas and points, and a distinct philosophy and thought that reflect the students' identity. All these concepts should be mingled with perceptual learning.
Dreaming of enlightened generations, the Ministry of Education headed by Tarek Shawki exerted remarkable efforts to upgrade and develop the educational system in Egypt through radical shifts. In spite of the limited budget and enormous challenges, Shawki was able to make a difference and establish a new comprehensive educational system based upon perception and advanced technology.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi declared 2019 the year of education and Egyptian identity; the following list includes achievements made over the last two years:
1) New educational systems for pre-schools and first grade students have been established; more than 20 million books and more than 500,000 instructor’s guides were distributed within the last 3 years.
2) About 150,000 instructors took extensive courses to boost their qualifications and be able to explain lessons easily using more innovative and advanced techniques.
3) An action plan has been set to update curricula of the second, third and fourth grades.
4) A new experiment-accumulating educational system has been launched for the first secondary stage students, applying the open-book strategy and providing students with tablets to facilitate the educational process.
5) Omitting all unneeded details and complicated parts in all subjects to make them comprehensible.
6) Drafting special subjects to fit disabled students putting into consideration their special needs and attempting to merge healthy and disabled students together at the same school to avoid isolating students with special needs.
7) Introducing different cultures and perspectives through establishing more than 35 Japanese schools that adopt unique methods for education; such a step aims at enriching the Egyptian educational system.