Education Emergency in Egypt
Education is compulsory in Egypt. However, the public education system is overburdened with more than 22 million children and adolescents. There is a real education emergency. Buildings and trained teachers are lacking. In the urban areas, more than 80 children share one classroom and classes are held in shifts. In rural areas, the way to school is often too far. Here, children are either taught at home or not at all.
The state of emergency is also reflected in the illiteracy rate in Egypt. At some primary schools, 80 percent of the children in grade 6 can neither read nor write. In secondary schools, too, there are many young people with fundamental weaknesses in reading and writing. Those who want to achieve a good graduation certificate have to take expensive private lessons or attend a privat school. But only very few can afford that.
Together We Can Bring Education to the Desert
Far away from the big cities, new life is currently being created in the western desert of Egypt. In addition to the reclamation of desert land, the children and young people of the region are also to be helped.
At the moment, six children are being taught by SEKEM staff in a temporary room. 6-year-old Mona enjoys going to school. “I like to play with my friends during break time and I like to draw”. Mona is one of the children currently attending the makeshift school. To let many more children in the area benefit from a holistic education, an all-round comprehensive school shall be built. The local authorities have already been convinced — the project is ready to start. Together with the support from European friends, 60 children shall have the chance to attend the new school in the remote desert region already in the upcoming school year.
The time of the Corona pandemic has clearly shown us how important it is in many ways for children to be integrated into a good school environment. By founding a new school in Egypt, we want to lay a foundation that will give as many children from the desert as possible the chance of a holistic education, so that they are empowered to develop their potential and shape the future of their country.
SEKEM School as Role Model
The SEKEM Initiative for the promotion of sustainable development in Egypt founded a holistic school model more than 40 years ago and has been putting it to the test ever since. Based on Waldorf education, the SEKEM school teaches not only the Egyptian curriculum but also other subjects that are to stimulate creativity and manual skills. Above all, however, the focus is on promoting the individual potential of the children.
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