Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education signed, on Sunday, a partnership document with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to integrate comprehensive population education into the local educational system.
The step aims to raise awareness of population issues, within the framework of the European Union (EU) support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy.
The document was signed by Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki and UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer.
Several activities will be conducted under the partnership between the Ministry and UNFPA, including enhancing teachers’ capacity in population education, providing technical support for the development of comprehensive frameworks for teachers and students and enhancing the capacity of teachers, supervisors and students, on family planning and population issues.
The activities will also include supporting students to address relevant matters with their peers and communities as well as supporting the implementation of peer and innovative education activities within the school, among several other interventions.
Tarek Shawki said that the government’s approach to the population issue focuses on the integration of efforts of all relevant entities to implement a strategic plan for the development of the Egyptian family. He explained that that the main objective of the plan is to manage the population issue through a comprehensive approach to improve the quality of life of citizens and ensure the sustainability of the development process, by working to stabilize population growth on the one hand, and improving demographic characteristics on the other, so that the Egyptian manpower becomes an effective, educated and healthy force that enjoys a better quality of life.
Shawki added that the Ministry is working closely with UNFPA to raise awareness around the importance of population issues, noting that the Ministry organizes many events and activities aimed at educating students on various environmental, population and health issues at the local, regional and global levels.
For her part, Frederika Meijer said, “In our continuous efforts to engage young people in developmental issues, this partnership is particularly important. The Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and UNFPA share the same goal; Equipping young people with skills and knowledge, investing in their health and wellbeing so that Egypt can reap the benefits of the demographic dividend. Young people today constitute more than 60 percent of the population; hence empowered young people are key in the achievement of the SDGs of Egypt’s 2030 agenda.”
UNFPA aims to address challenges of population growth in Egypt through the Demand Creation for Family Planning and Combating Harmful Practices project, with the support of an EU-grant of €27m and the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. It engages young people and people in reproductive age in the pursuit of developmental gains, including health and wellbeing of youth and the value of the small family size.