The World Bank announced a new $500m investment for educational reforms in Egypt. The sum, specifically, is to support increasing access to quality kindergarten education, improve learning, and adopt technology in public schools to achieve reform objectives.
The project will expand access to quality kindergarten for around 500,000 children, train 500,000 teachers and education officials, while providing 1.5 million students and teachers with digital learning resources, said a Saturday statement from the World Bank office in Cairo.
The five-year Supporting Egypt Education Reform Project will help transform the country’s education system through bold modernisation initiatives, added the statement, noting that the project is aligned with the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030, which puts a strong emphasis on the critical role of the education sector’s reform in Egypt’s social transformation.
“Investing in people is key to inclusive economic growth. We welcome the World Bank’s support for the implementation of our ambitious home-grown education sector reform programme. It is a strategic opportunity and the government is fully committed to developing the education system to build a productive generation that is well-equipped and ready for the competitive world,” said Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, who also represents Egypt on the World Bank’s board of governors.
Nasr added in a statement from her ministry that the World Bank’s new financial support reflects its unprecedented level of cooperation with Egypt to support educational reform as a main pillar of inclusive social and economic development, which is considered a priority for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
“The timing of the new finance is extremely important because it supports the governmental policy for developing the education system that was discussed recently, aiming to improve the quality of education to the highest international standards,” the statement said.
The minister added that she looks forward to signing the financial agreement for the educational support with the World Bank next week during her participation in the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings, which will be held from 20 to 22 April in Washington DC.
The World Bank’s statement added that the project aims to achieve its goals by improving access to, and the quality of, early childhood education and developing a reliable student assessment and examination system.
The project aims to enhance the capacities of teachers, education leaders, and supervisors, and use modern technology for teaching and learning, assessing students, and collecting data, as well as expanding the use of digital learning resources.
“September 2018 marks the start of the journey to make our students ready for life, and we are pleased to have this partnership with the World Bank to accompany us on that journey. Our goal is to provide our students with the competencies they need to create a society that learns, thinks, and innovates,” said Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky.
“Strengthening the education system is critical to improving productivity and promoting growth,” said Dr. Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti. “By focusing on strengthening learning conditions, young Egyptians will be better prepared for higher paying and skilled jobs of the future.”
The World Bank finances many programs to help Egypt reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. The focus of Bank support includes social safety nets, energy, transport, rural water and sanitation, irrigation, social housing, health care, job creation, and financing for micro and small enterprises.
The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 16 projects with a total commitment of $6.69 bn.