Nile Schools: Education for the middle class

The Nile Schools, funded by the Educational Development Fund and administered by the Egyptian Council of Ministers, are now accepting applications from parents who want to enroll their children for the coming academic year (2010–2011).  At the moment, the schools are only accepting students for the kindergarten and first grade.

Schools in five governorates — 6th of October, Qaylubia, Minya, Qena and Port Said — are set to open their doors this fall. Officials are confident that Nile Schools will be operating in ten governorates by the 2011–2012 school year.

General Director of the Nile Schools, Nihal Mustafa Kamel Murad stated that their primary goal is to serve middle class families, who according to Murad, can no longer afford to send their children to international schools yet consider the education provided by government schools to be inadequate.

She noted that fees for the new schools will be between LE6,000 and LE12,000 per year and provide classes for students ranging from kindergarten to high school levels. Twenty percent of the places at the new schools will be filled by underprivileged children with scholarships from the Educational Development Fund.

According to Murad, the aim of the schools is not to make a profit, but to provide a new educational system that will qualify its graduates to matriculate at any university in the world, and to combat the impression that, “the Egyptian education system is not respected internationally.

As to the schools’ curriculum, she said, “The curriculum was developed in consultation with the University of Cambridge in Britain, which set guidelines for the schools’ courses, including the fields of Arabic, civics and social studies. The curriculum was then reviewed by our Egyptian and foreign consultants.”

The director indicated that only teachers with exemplary qualifications will be accepted to work at the schools. The teachers will receive special training courses at the American University in Cairo and will take three classes a year from the University of Cambridge.

Murad stressed that the Nile Schools will not be plagued by the phenomenon of private study sessions that has become the norm in most Egyptian public schools, in which students pay for extra instruction from teachers and for a competitive edge in year-end exams. Instructors will not have time to offer such sessions because of the continuous training they will be receiving.

Teachers at the new schools are to receive monthly salaries ranging between LE3,500 and LE9,000.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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