Egypt’s government needs to provide its citizens with a total of 850,000 new jobs per year in order to keep up with the number of newcomers entering the country’s job market, said Director of the Education Sector at the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Human Development Division Murad al Zain , after concluding a recent study on education and job training in Egypt.
Egyptian officials have stated that education reform is one of their top priorities, and that one of the largest challenges facing the country’s job market is the fact that recent graduates do not possess the skills necessary to acquire jobs in an increasingly technical and globalised market. A large part of education reform would aim to provide students with the skills necessary to compete in a free market system. They added that increased pressure has been put on the country’s education sector due to the increased number of students entering the country’s schools, in addition to the country’s changing demographics. Improving the country’s work and providing young people with jobs were common features among the demands of protests during and after the January 2011 revolution.
Zain stated that the goal should be to aid Egypt in measuring the quality of its education and the performance of the country’s schools in comparison to world standards.
Director of First Operations at the World Bank in Cairo Husam Abu Deqa reiterated the importance of “providing our youth with better work opportunities by tailoring our education system to the needs of the market. The World Bank will seek to help Egypt in this regard for a period of 18 months”.
The World Bank’s program aimed at helping Egypt to measure the success of new education policies will be known as the “Systems Approach for the Purpose of Improving Educational Outcomes”. This comes as part of a broader World Bank initiative to help identify and remove obstacles to achieving progress in Egypt’s education system.
A recent World Bank report also discussed in detail the primary challenges facing Egypt’s education system and the best ways to address them, in addition to detailing the positive steps already being taken to improve the country’s schools.