Minister of Education Ibrahim Ghoneim released a press statement on Sunday saying the education budget has been increased to EGP 62bn from the previous budget of EGP 49bn. According to Aswat Masriya, the statement said an agreement was also reached with Al-Azhar to establish Islamic studies as part of the state school curriculum.
Ghoneim stressed in his statement that the decision to cancel the primary school certificate serves to prevent students from dropping out and will save the state and families an estimated EGP 400m.
“Article 18 of Law 139 says the ministry must establish two tests at the end of the compulsory basic education and provide the students with a certificate at the end,” the minister said, adding that he believes this will reduce the need for students to pursue private classes, relieving the financial burden on parents.
Ghoneim also said cheating in school is a “red line” which will not be tolerated as it does not contribute positively to education’s end result.
The statement was made during a visit to Kafr El-Sheikh, where the minister also announced the opening of 26 new schools next year, offering 229 classes and accommodating 40 pupils per class.
A meeting is expected to be held next Tuesday between the minister and Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb. The meeting will focus on sharing resources between the ministry and Al-Azhar, who plan on developing an Islamic Studies curriculum
Ghoneim said there were three pillars from which to measure the quality of education in schools. One of which is the establishment of a National Examination Centre, which the minister said was not present in the previous regime. School evaluations and teacher training make up the other two pillars of education which, according to the education minister, will help to increase the quality of education offered in Egypt.