President El-Sisi said during the ceremony that significant improvement in the education sector has been achieved.
He stressed that the newly announced system for Thanaweya Amma exams aims at reducing human error in correcting exams through the implementation of an electronic testing system.
El-Sisi warned that national achievements underway in the country are always faced by campaigns launched by “evil powers” who falsely claim that the state’s efforts aim at harming people.
The president said a different system of attendance in schools will be applied as a preventative measure against COVID-19, explaining that students will go to school only between 2 to 4 days per week. He added that decreasing the ratio of students per class aims at maintaining social distancing.
The president also addressed the issue of rapid population growth in the country, saying the population, which stands at 103 million now, is expected to reach 194 million people by 2050.
To deal with the expected doubling of the population, he said, the state also needs to double its infrastructure projects during the coming 30 years.
El-Sisi stressed the need to expand infrastructure projects, including roads, housing units, water desalination plants, and power plants over the coming years to cope with population increase.
“what we have achieved so far was believed to be unachievable, and we did it thanks to God,” the president said.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, Minister of Higher Education, and other state officials attended the ceremony.
Prime minister comments
At the opening event, Prime Minister Madbouly said education is an issue of national security and represents a top priority for the government.
The prime minister said the state faces challenges in education such as the high number of students per classroom, poor education quality indicators, high illiteracy rates, and insufficient technical education schools
Egypt has about 30,000 schools with 500,000 classrooms and 23.5 million students., he explained.
He noted that 73,000 new classrooms, which would cost EGP 40 billion, need to be established to reach an opitimum ratio of students per class.
He added that 38 more universities are also needed to cope with population growth.
Madbouly said the state has invested EGP 100 billion in education, including higher education, over the past six years.
He also highlighted the importance of technical and professional training and the necessity to maintain a link between scientific research and industry.
He noted that eight modern technological universities are being established as well as 100 government colleges and institutes.
The prime minister added that the state plans to build 40,000 classrooms during the current and coming year.
Minister of Education
Minister of Education Tarek Shawki said that a new book on “Values and Respect of Others” will be included in the school curriculum for third graders.
The ministry will also seek, in coordination with the ministry of youth and the relevant body of the armed forces, to make physical education in schools a pass or fail course.
The minister said 75,000 new classes have been established during the last six years, at a total cost of EGP 24 billion.
The ministry plans to distribute 1.8 million tablets to students and will install 36,000 computer screens as well as a new fiber optic network in schools to strengthen the educational experience, Shawki said.
Egypt is currently operating 43 Japanese schools in 24 governorates.
Shawki also explained that the new Thanaweya Amma exam system will allow students to take more than one makeup test for the same subject in order to improve their grades.
More to follow