84 years since its founding: What is the role of the British Council in Egypt?



Wed, 29 Jun 2022 - 12:46 GMT


Wed, 29 Jun 2022 - 12:46 GMT

FILE - British Council

FILE - British Council

CAIRO – 29 June 2022: The British Council first opened its doors outside the UK in 1938 - in Bucharest and here in Cairo. For 84 years, the British Council in Egypt has played an influential role in supporting the development of education, arts and culture in Egypt.





Elizabeth White, director of the British Council in Egypt, said that Egypt has many very ancient educational institutions, but as a foreign cultural institution, she believes the British Council is one of the first institutions to open here.





“We are very proud of our 84-year history here in Egypt, and throughout that time our vision has been to support the development of education, arts and culture,” said White.





"When we started 84 years ago, we taught English, table tennis and wireless mechanisms. Now we are more specialized and we teach English and have five branches," resumed White.





She added that the council also supports the development of education and skills in Egypt in any way possible, through contacts and exchanges with British education institutions or technical institutions and organizations.





The British Council in Egypt focuses on three areas: school education (basic), higher education, and teaching English in schools, according to statements by the council's director.





On the focus of the British Council during the coming period, White said that there is cooperation with higher education institutions to increase links, and exchanges between universities in Egypt and the United Kingdom, especially in the field of climate adaptation sustainability in light of the upcoming COP 27 set to be held in November in Egypt.





She added that the council's second focus is the professional development of English language teachers working in secondary schools, explaining that the council has a huge program that works with school teachers in all governorates of Egypt to provide professional development to support the teaching of English in schools. 





Moreover, White noted that the British Council is helping British authorities in Egypt to provide and manage school exams for hundreds of thousands of children.





In the artistic field, the British Council aims to identify areas where communication on exchange and cooperation between artistic organizations or individuals in Egypt and the UK can be mutually beneficial and can be of interest to both sides.





In this regard, White noted the collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society to provide professional development for archivists to preserve cultural heritage.





“We work with individual artists here in Egypt to make them appear on an international level, as well as bring British artists to Egypt, whether in the visual arts, in theater or music,” concluded White.





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