UNICEF Egypt collaborates with partners to further develop the education system that provides Egypt’s children, adolescent and youth, with quality and relevant learning opportunities that change their lives and the lives of their children.
The quality of education remains a major challenge preventing children from developing to their full potential and contributing to the society in the long term.
Teaching styles can sometimes be rigid; pupil participation is not encouraged enough and corporal punishment is often used. Many schools have poor infrastructure with around 1 in 5 school buildings unfit for use, lacking functional water and sanitation facilities. Based on TIMMS 2015 and PIRLS 2016 results, more than half of the students in Egypt do not even meet the low benchmark in international learning assessments – 69% of grade-4 students in reading, 53% of grade-8 students in mathematics, and 58% of grade-8 students in science. Egypt ranks at the bottom of the participating countries - #49 out of 50 countries of grade-4 students in reading, #34 out of 39 countries of grade-8 students in mathematics, and #38 out of 39 countries of grade-8 students in science.
 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) 2015 and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016
Life Skills and Citizenship Education
UNICEF’s regional office along with multiple partners including UNESCO, ILO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNRWA, The World Bank, etc. have developed a Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE) Conceptual and Programmatic Framework specifically for the MENA region. This region faces unprecedented challenges in terms of learning, employment and social cohesion, including in Egypt. The framework provides a clear definition of ‘life skills’ and citizenship education by addressing 12 core skills that are interrelated and mutually reinforce each other to help a child develop and succeed in school and socially. LSCE also responds to the underlying need for social transformation of young generations in the region, ensuring a lifelong learning approach. UNICEF Egypt is currently strengthening its interventions through utilizing the LSCE approach which will ensure that more vulnerable children have access to quality formal and non-formal learning opportunities relevant to their cognitive, social and economic empowerment. Under the new transformative education system (so called ‘Education 2.0’) of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MoETE) announced in mid-2017, UNICEF has been providing technical guidance for assisting the MoETE integrate LSCE framework in the curriculum reform and related teacher training and teaching and training materials for KG1, KG2, and Grade 1 levels.
 LSCE Initiative; LSCE Conceptual Framework – Summary; LSCE Conceptual and Programmatic Framework; LSCE Analytical Mapping Analytical_mapping_report.pdf; LSCE 12 Core Life Skills
Since 1992, UNICEF has been supporting the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education in providing access to education to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children through adopting and scaling up a Community-based Education model. The Community-based School model is targeting out-of-school children in deprived areas where children do not have access to public primary schools. The Community-based school is one or two classrooms providing quality education services through a multiple-grade approach, with special focus on ensuring equal access to girls. Community-based school teachers are trained to use active learning pedagogy and learner-centered learning methods. The model is based on a tripartite partnership between Ministry of Education (MoE), NGOs and local communities. The MoE is responsible for the provision of salaries, textbooks, teacher supervision, sanitation and basic health. The NGOs give support to identify the locations and out-of-school children, they also support the communities to ensure school governance. The local communities are responsible for the provision of the donated sites’ future maintenance and for the overall school governance.
Inclusive education is a comprehensive approach that promotes school-based child friendly learning environments for all children, including children with disabilities and girls. This is achieved through respect for differences, adaptation in teaching methods, a safe and stimulating learning environment, open and flexible curricula, parents involvement, and modifications in school policies and strategies. It also encompasses strengthening school leadership, training for teachers, providing learning materials, and support for supervision, monitoring and evaluation systems. Among the key results of the LIFE programme (Learning Improvement For Everyone), 181 public primary schools in Alexandria, Assiut, Cairo, Damietta, Gharbia, Matrouh, and Sohag received resource rooms and adequate training to integrate 1943 children with disabilities. 1,765 teachers, social workers, school psychologists, principals, and deputies were trained on inclusive education. Improved capacity of teachers is expected to enhance the quality of teaching and learning for both children with disabilities as well as other children in the same schools. Since 2016, under the support of European Union, inclusive education aims at targeting 200 public schools benefiting 6,000 children with disabilities with 100,000 children overall in the age group 4-14 in targeted areas by 2020.
Education in Emergencies
Refugee and migrant children face multiple barriers in accessing safe, quality education in Egypt. UNICEF works with the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MoETE) and NGOs to ensure that refugee and migrant children have access to quality education. UNICEF Egypt uses a two-pronged approach in addressing the needs of refugee children with the primary focus being on collaborating with the Ministry to enhance the capacity of the public education system and secondly UNICEF partners with NGOs to support affected refugee populations at the community level. The education in emergency component focuses on supporting refugee and migrant children from pre-primary level to post basic level, through provision of education cash grants, distribution of educational material and provision of teacher training with additional focus on life skills to promote social integration and build resilience. Furthermore, Since 2017, UNICEF also supports refugee children with mild disabilities access public schools. UNICEF also provides support to the MoETE in order to respond to the needs of refugee and vulnerable children.
Ministry of Education, Statistical Yearbook 2014-2015
UNICEF and Ministry of Education (2015), ‘Study on out-of-school children in Egypt
UNICEF (2015) Egypt. Country Report on Out-of-School Children, Middle East and North Africa Out-of-School Children Initiative