Education in Egypt

Education in Egypt

The Egyptian educational system is highly centralized, and is divided into three stages:

* Basic Education ( _ar. التعليم الأساسى, transliteration: "al-Taʿaleem al-Asassī")
** Primary Stage
** Preparatory Stage
* Secondary Education ( _ar. التعليم الثانوى, transliteration: "al-Taʿaleem al-Thanawī")
* Post-Secondary education ( _ar. التعليم الجامعى, transliteration: "al-Taʿaleem al-Gammeʿī")

Since the extension of the free compulsory education law in 1981 to include the Preparatory Stage, both Primary and Preparatory phases (Ages 6 through 14) have been combined together under the label Basic Education. Education beyond this stage depends on the student's ability.

Secondary Education

Secondary education consists of three different types: general, technical, and vocational.

Technical Secondary Education

Technical education, which is provided in three-year and five-year programs, includes schools in three different fields: industrial, commercial and agricultural.

Azhar Education System

The Azhar education system is supervised by the Supreme Council of the Al-Azhar Institution. The Azhar Institution itself is nominally independent from the Ministry of Education, but is ultimately under supervision by the Egyptian Prime Minister.

The Azhar schools are named "Institutes" and include primary, preparatory, and secondary phases.

All schools in all phases teach non-religious subjects, to a certain degree, although not as intensively as the state schools. The bulk of the curriculum, however, consists of religious subjects as described below. All the students are Muslims, and males and females are separated in all phases. The Azhar schools are spread all over the country, especially in rural areas. The graduates of the Azhar secondary schools are eligible to continue their studies only at the Al-Azhar University. In the early 2000s, the Azhar schools accounted for less than 4% of the total enrollment.

Post-Secondary Education

There are both private and public institutions of higher education in Egypt. Public higher education is free in Egypt, and Egyptian students only pay registration fees. Private education is much more expensive. Major universities include Cairo University (100,000 students), Alexandria University, Ain Shams University, and the 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar University, while the American University in Cairo, the German University in Cairo and the Université Française d'Égypte are of the leading private universities.

Types of Schools

Government Schools

Generally speaking, there are two types of government schools: Arabic Schools and Experimental Language Schools.
* Arabic Schools, provide the governmental national curriculum in the Arabic Language.
* Experimental Language Schools, teach most of the government curriculum in English, and add French as a second foreign language.

Private Schools

Generally speaking, there are three types of private schools:

* Ordinary schools, their curriculum is quite similar to that of the government schools, but the private schools pay more attention to the students' personal needs and to the school facilities.
* Language schools, teach most of the government curriculum in English, and add French or German as a second foreign language. They are expected to be better than the other schools, because of the facilities available, but their fees are much higher. Some of these schools use French or German as their main language of instruction, but it may be difficult for the student to study in governmental universities in Arabic or English afterwards.
* Religious Schools, are religiously oriented schools that are sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood movement, especially in the western delta region. Their curricula differ from those of the state or the Azhar schools.

Many of the private schools were built by missionaries, are currently affiliated with churches and provide quality education.

Many private schools offer additional educational programs, along with the national curriculum, such as the American High School Diploma, the British IGCSE system, the French baccalauréat, the German Abitur and the International Baccalaureate.

See also

* Egyptian universities
* List of Egyptian universities
* Francophonie, an organization of which Egypt is a member state


*cite web
last = Andarwes
first = Ezzat
title = History of Education during Muhammad Ali's era
language = Arabic
url =
accessdate = 2008-08-19

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