Educational expert Kamal Mughith, a researcher at the National Centre for Educational Research and Development, said that the Egyptian teacher’s salary is considered the lowest globally, explaining that it does not exceed $65.
He stated that it is true that the budget of education increased in the new state budget by 10%, but with the increase of the inflation by 30%, we find that the budget actually decreased, especially as most of it goes to wages, while only 10% is directed to the education or learning process.
Hence, he called for increasing again the education allocations in the state budget.
This came during the panel discussion that was held by the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) on the problems of education in Egypt, as part of the recently announced educational reform proposals.
The discussion was attended by a number of experts and members of the House of Representatives.
The discussion focused on three main axes, the reality of education in Egypt with discussing the main problems that it faces in the level of basic education, discussing also the proposals and projects for the development of education.
Meanwhile, the third axis included the formulation of a vision to address the most important educational problems.
In May, Minister of Education Tarek Shawky affirmed during the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt’s (AmCham) annual general assembly meeting that Egypt will complete the development process for the new educational system, which relies on enhancing students’ innovation capabilities, by 2026.
The new education system’s implementation is to begin in September, and it will be compulsory in kindergarten (KG)1, KG2, and first grade classes in all private and public schools.
The new system was announced last year. It includes the cancellation of the Primary Education Certificate, in addition to replacing the traditional Thanaweya Amma system with a new secondary education system based upon the Grade Point Average (GPA), starting from the school year 2018/2019.
Commenting on this new system, Hoda Badran, president of the EFU, stated that the development proposals announced thus far are not clear goals and are characterised by a large degree of generality, although the goal is to achieve good development, but the plan is not clear, stating that the Ministry of Education did not announce a development document, but stated the proposals on media statements, which makes confusion.
Badran added that the educational process affects the interests of several groups, including families and students in different educational stages, in addition to the system of education itself, including experts and workers in the field of education.
For his part, Mughith called for managing a dialogue between the ministry and the public, as well as the teachers, to explain to them the development project and hear their comments, in order to ensure the success of the project and its continuation, assuring that it will not succeed without consultation with all concerned people and bodies.
On the other hand, MP Magda Nasr said that there is confusion in the public opinion between the development in the primary stage, which includes partial development, and development of secondary school, which is limited to the development of the method of exams.
The new educational reform will spare class teachers the trouble of correcting examinations, as the correction and the exams will be electronic.
She assured that the government decided to implement this new system as the education system does not meet the requirements of the era.
Concerning the problems of education in Egypt, the executive director of the Egyptian Centre for the Right to Education, Abdul Hafiz Tayel, stated, “we have many problems that need to be addressed, including a severe shortage in school buildings estimated at about 25,000 schools, as there are thousands of villages and areas deprived of schools.”
In the context of illiteracy rates, Fatma Khafagi, a gender expert, pointed out that illiteracy of girls and women in Egypt account for 30% and that there is neglect in linking education to the labour market despite the various proposals and efforts in this regard.