The Ministers of International Cooperation and Education meet to follow up on the implementation of development cooperation programs in the field of education

Mary Nady

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat and Minister of Education and Technical Education Dr. Reda Hegazy, held a meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of International Cooperation, in the New Administrative Capital, to discuss development cooperation programs and international partnerships being implemented with development partners in the field of education, teaching, technical education, and capacity building for teachers.

This comes in light of Egypt’s priorities and the directives of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to improve the quality of education and enhance the efficiency of the human element in the educational system at the pre-university level, and to enhance the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation in coordination between national entities and development partners to achieve the maximum benefit from these international partnerships.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the position of the projects being implemented within the framework of the third phase of the Egyptian-Italian debt swap program for development, which amounts to $100 million, part of which has been directed to implementing development projects in the field of education and technical education, including applied technology schools project, enhancing teachers’ skills, and other projects.

The two ministers also discussed the efforts made to expand the scope of the experience of schools for outstanding students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) funded by the USAID, as the project proved successful by preparing a generation of outstanding students capable of competing in international forums.

In this context, Al-Mashat stressed the Ministry of International Cooperation’s keenness to fully coordinate between the Ministry of Education and multilateral and bilateral development partners, to implement programs and partnerships in various fields of education, in a way that meets the priorities and requirements of the government aimed at raising the efficiency of the educational system, whether at the level of the human element or infrastructure.

Dr. Al-Mashat indicated that international partnerships have contributed to the implementation of pioneering educational experiments, such as STEM schools, which include about 5,000 students in the various governorates of Egypt, explaining that many development cooperation programs in the field of education and technical education are being implemented in cooperation with relevant national entities, and with the support of multilateral and bilateral development partners, in a way that enhances the implementation of sustainable development goals, stimulates comprehensive and sustainable growth, and prepares new generations for the labor market.

Among the programs implemented in the field of education are the Egyptian-Japanese Educational Partnership Program to support and establish Egyptian-Japanese schools, the program to support the implementation of the comprehensive national strategy for developing pre-university education, the basic education improvement programme, the center of Excellence in the field of technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and the technical and financial support project for the comprehensive technical education initiative in Egypt.

For his part, Hegazy applauded the existing cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation through many international partnership programs that contribute to the development of the educational system, adding that the Ministry of Education seeks to increase the number of applied technology schools in various governorates, which contributes to improving the quality of outcomes and technical and vocational skill levels for technical education students and graduating students capable of competing and joining the local and international labor market in various fields and specializations.

Dr. Hegazy also stressed the state’s great interest in students from schools for excellence in science and technology (STEM), which is an inspiring model for education, as the state pays great attention to developing innovation and talented people as it is a strategic and national goal of sustainable development, and the ministry’s strategic plan is derived from programs The government, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030.

Hegazy added that the Ministry places as its top priority the expansion of the number of STEM schools in the various governorates, as their number currently stands at 21 schools in 18 governorates, indicating that the innovators and geniuses are the ones who will bring about change, lead the process, and make the difference in the country’s progress. He pointed out that last year, 30,000 students attended, and 2,000 of them passed. These schools provide distinguished education to male and female students and prepare them to keep pace with the needs of the times through project-based learning and problem solving.

It is worth noting that from 2020 to 2023, the Ministry of International Cooperation succeeded in supporting the country’s efforts to develop education at all its stages, and the total concessional development financing agreements and grants directed to the education, technical education and higher education sectors amounted to about $490 million from many development partners, including The United States of America, the European Union, Germany, the French Development Agency, South Korea, Switzerland and others.

The meeting was attended on behalf of the Ministry of International Cooperation, Shaima Muhammad, responsible for the cooperation team with Italy, and on the part of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Amr Basila, Head of the Central Administration for the Development of Technical Education and Director of the Applied Technology Schools Operation and Management Unit, and Shadi Zalta, the media advisor and official spokesman for the Ministry.

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