By Abraham Jonah, Middle East Contributing Editor
MON, JULY 24 2017-Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, is aiming to address some of Egypt’s most pressing challenges surrounding girls’ education, and help to nurture a new generation of leaders, through a new AED 7,347,000 (USD 2,000,000) program.
The program titled: “Ensuring Supportive and Safe Quality Education for Girls in Egypt” represents Dubai Cares’ first intervention in the country. This three-year program reflects the need for inclusivity and empowerment, an enhanced school environment, development of teaching methods, as well as the revision of school curricula by providing quality education that prepares young people for successful and fulfilling futures.
In addition, the program aims to improve the standard of education for 15,000 students, and ensure they have a safe and engaging environment to learn throughout Upper Egypt’s Assiut, BeniSuief, and Minya governorates. It will also adopt a multi-faceted approach to achieve its objectives by cultivating girls’ leadership skills through extracurricular activities and sports, and enabling them to put these skills into practice through participating in Student Unions.
Commenting on the launch of this new program in Egypt, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “Our objective for this new and diverse program is to allow girl students in Egypt to recognize and realize their full potential, opening their eyes to what education makes possible, and providing the teaching and learning environment that underpins a quality education. Designed to cultivate leaders and lifelong learners; Dubai Cares aims to build a sustainable and enduring educational and societal legacy for Egypt.”
The program will also encourage school stakeholders to recognize the importance of empowering female students, improve learning facilities, and raise the overall caliber of education through developing teacher’s abilities in Arabic tuition. Furthermore, the program includes training in active learning techniques and positive discipline methods to create a more engaging school environment.
“This program takes elements of what we know is working in addressing girls’ education and puts them together to create an integrated package aimed at improving girls’ education in Upper Egypt. Through improving school infrastructure, safety of girls in schools, gender awareness, girls’ leadership abilities, and teachers’ skills in active learning methods, we hope to empower the girls reached by this program.” says Nada Al Hajjri, Country Program Officer at Dubai Cares.
The program has been developed in response to the fact that despite near-universal primary school enrolment and an increase in Egypt’s public education budget, a large number of the country’s children are still missing out on quality education – or any education at all.
“Supporting girls’ education is one of the single best investments we can make to help them overcome the cycle of poverty. Dubai Cares strongly supports different education stakeholders in Egypt to ensure that girls take their rightful place within their community,” Al Gurg concluded.
Despite near-universal enrollment in primary education in Egypt, which has been in place for several years, a recent study, conducted by the Population Council, found that around 26% of girls surveyed in the country’s frontier governorates, and 23% of those surveyed in rural parts of Upper Egypt, had never attended school, as opposed to 10% and 7% of boys surveyed in these respective area. Egyptian primary schools also have, on average, around 43 students per class, but some governorates – such as Giza, with 52 students per class – have an even higher student-to-teacher ratio.