By Yasmeen Badawy
The educational system in Egypt has always been one of the biggest problems that hindered the country’s development. However, to our relief, the Minister of Education, Tarek Shawki, announced that the educational system is already gradually changing and will be completely vanished by 2026.
According to Shawki, the new educational system will keep the class teachers as far away from marking school examinations as possible. The new system will also modify the “Thanaweya Amma” high school exams as they have been a direct cause of stress in both students and their families. Instead of putting all the pressure on one final exam, they are planning to evaluate the students over three years. The new exam system will also evaluate the students’ understanding and skills instead of their ability to memorize. Some have suggested that the education debate in the US could provide some insight into how this new system for Egypt might play out but we will have to wait and see.
Another reform to be introduced to the new educational system is the elimination of paper books and the introduction of school tablets that will be provided for free by the Ministry of Education. The tablets will operate through pre-saved data and local school networks to prevent any internet connectivity problems. By next year, the tablets will be distributed to first-year high school students and will operate with high capacity in all cities and towns with equal quality. In addition to that, Thanaweya Amma exams will be electronic which means that there will be no interference whatsoever from the teachers, The exams will be not be held at a nation-wide level like they used to be, and instead will be held at the school level. They will be answered, checked and announced electronically to avoid confusion. In order to give the students more chances to answer, high school students will take 12 exams over three years and the highest score will be calculated.
The Egyptian government and the World Bank signed an agreement for US$500 million supporting Egypt Education Reform project, which aims to improve teaching and learning conditions in Egyptâ€™s public education system. In the meeting with the World Bank, Dr. Tarek Nasr made a statement that the “goal is to provide our students with the competencies they need to create a society that learns, thinks and innovates,â€ said Dr. Tarek Shawki. The minister of education announced that the first aim of the project is to build an educational system with real-life skills from early childhood to high school. The second aim is to improve the conditions and skills of teachers. The third aim is to improve examination and assessment systems to measure the abilities of students through electronic platforms.