The European Union (EU) and the Government of Egypt (GoE), represented by the Ministry of Education (MoE), and the Alexandria Governorate in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) celebrated today the inauguration of the first group of inclusive schools in the context of the programme “Expanding Access to Education and Protection for at Risk Children in Egypt”.
To date, 55 schools in Alexandria, Sohag, Gharbia and Matrouh governorates have been equipped to accommodate all learning styles and provide quality education for all children. This includes identification of students with learning disabilities using a variety of tools, improving the knowledge and skills of teachers, providing appropriate learning aids and meet accessibility standards.
"The National Strategic plan for pre-University Education 2014-2030 supports an increased access to education for the most vulnerable and socially excluded children in Egypt by providing inclusive education," said the Minister of Education, Dr. Tarek Shawky. He added “President Abel Fatah El Sisi announced 2018 as the year for persons with disabilities and today we reaffirm the Government’s commitment to spare no efforts in supporting the full integration of children with disabilities.”
By 2020, the five-year programme “Expanding Access to Education and Protection for at Risk Children in Egypt” aims at upgrading 200 public primary schools to cater to the needs of around 6,000 children with disabilities. Moreover, 100,000 children will benefit from improved teaching and a more child-friendly environment in the targeted schools.
“Mainstreaming the inclusive school model developed by the Ministry of Education in cooperation with UNICEF and funded by the EU provides improved access to quality education for all children particularly those with mild disabilities”, said Jean-Marie Moreau, Head of the Human and Social Development at EU Delegation to Egypt. He added "Offering the most marginalized children opportunities to education is one of our top priorities."
Partnerships with Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, and Zagzig University have been established to support the professional development interventions for teacher and administrators at school, district and governorate levels.
“Globally, Children with disabilities still face multiple forms of discrimination which leads to their exclusion from society and school. The attitudes toward children with disabilities, as well as a lack of resources to accommodate them, are crucial challenges for those children to access education,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Egypt. He added ”Inclusion of children with disabilities in education is rooted in the concept of equity. It broadens the horizons of all children.”
The event which took place at Dr. Moustafa Mesharafa primary school in Alexandria, was attended by the head of the human and social development at the EU Delegation to Egypt, MOE and Governorate of Alexandria representatives, Members of Parliament, the UN family, the diplomatic corps, international and national partners and the civil society.
During the event MOE, EU, and UNICEF officials received acknowledgment certificates for their dedicated efforts to develop quality inclusive learning environment for all children across Egypt.
For more information please contact:
Ministry of education:
Media spokesperson, Ahmed Khairy, Moenews22@gmail.com
Press Officer, Spokesperson: Ayman Elsherbiny, Ayman.ELSHERBINY@eeas.europa.eu
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/.