A to Z reasons why Egypt’s education system is lacking

By Marwan Kamal, contributor,

Over-crowded? A class room at a primary school

Over-crowded? A class room at a primary school

The following “A-Z” reasons were found after interviewing several teachers and individuals.

A) Poor teachers, willing to accept bribes, cut corners.

Teachers in Egypt are more often than not underpaid. This forces teachers to take up second jobs or be open to accepting bribes, usually from parents, to pass their children.

B) Crowded classrooms

It’s hard to find a country that doesn’t have this problem these days. However, Egypt is unique in this as it’s schools are not proportionality placed, forcing some parents to send their kids across town to find a large school in a majorly adult community.

C) No accountability

Unlike western and European schools, Egypt has no major accountability infrastructure: schools rarely have to report to their districts about numbers or grades, and dialogue between schools and the Ministry of Education is rare.

D) Grades based on repetition not understanding

While a lot of school systems do this, it doesn’t means Egypt’s is better. The system of grading by repetition is proven to be ineffective in teaching students concepts and causes a false sense of understanding.

E) Crowded class rooms

I put this here twice because of how large an issue this is. Rather than make room, schools turn students away and instead accept students whose families may be willing to “pay a little” to have their children enrolled.

F) Schools serve shareholders and owners first (little government funding)

This is more of a back room problem. most schools in Egypt have shareholders and owners to fund the schools. This can mean schools attempt to be profitable rather than a place of learning

G) Poor understanding of courses by teachers

The curriculum has been changing faster then national leaders and this means teachers are no longer up to speed on what they are teaching.

H) On average, kids have more important things to worry about.

-This isn’t a educational problem, but a national one. With many students being o\in the lower income bracket, they are often asked to work rather than study.

I) Lessons are often politically based.

Classes are often based on what the government decides people need to think, rather than what they should know.

J) Despite this, public school still have a tuition

Public schools have tuition fees due to a lack of funds from the government.

K) Tuition is not based on income and there are no low income subsidies

I can’t stress this one enough. A large amount of kids who could go to school can’t because of this one reason. The tuition may be relatively small however that doesn’t mean it’s still affordable.

L) Education spending is focused on university and high school

This is due to a lack of foresight by the education ministry. The government has decided that high school and post secondary are more important than primary school education – which isn’t necessarily true.

M) “Polite” education not practiced

Teaching kids by fear rather than respect. Some could argue that this is a more direct and effective method – however the violent nature promotes violence in the students’ lives.

N) Primary education is not relevant to students

When students are not engaged, their desire to stay in school is lowered. All school systems struggle to reach a good balance. Egypt is one of them.

O) Job prospects for high school graduates are little

This is also a unique situation to other third world nations. The lack of distinction and job prospects for high school graduates reduces parents’ willingness to spend the tuition when they could invest the money in something else.

P) Disciplinary tactics scare younger kids from going to school

This goes back to reason “M”. In western and European schools, students are rewarded for good participation and doing good work. While in Egypt (and other third world nations) kids are kept in constant fear of being disciplined physically (usually) for not doing work.

Q) Sharp increase in high school difficulty

For those who have been through the Egyptian education system recently, then they can relate to this. The peak of difficulty is extremely high. Egypt’s attempts to compete on an international level are in-vain, as primary school education does not receive enough attention.

R) No school bus system for most schools

Often over looked in North America, a mostly free or for little cost school bus system for rural students is non-existent in Egypt. Although buses exist, they are usually over priced and privately run, leaving lower income students to commute to school via public transit.

S) Students don’t usually have enough money for appropriate school supplies

A lot of parents deemed school to be important, so they make room in their budget for their children to go. However proper supplies are often out of reach.

 T) Lack of money for modern tech, computers and printers, limit what the kids can learn

Whether we like it or not, the world is modernising and those who can’t keep up are left behind. Egypt seems to be doing just that.

U) Inappropriate density of schools.

I touched on this earlier. School density is a big problem. An example is the lack of public schools anywhere in eastern Alexandria, but the over crowding of schools in western Alexandria. 

V) Constant changing of how things are taught in class

There is a lack of consistency, with the school year facing various changes in the teaching methods.

W) Sanitation and building quality doesn’t promote anything good.

This is again very over looked. When a building and its surroundings are not clean, they don’t promote cleanliness or good hygiene. Some experts say it can also prevent early development growth.

X) No student services programs

Although student services have mixed results, no services at all is a disadvantage. These services can include: an assigned police officer, career centres, credit recovery, and individual personalised plans.

Y) No counsilor or guidance teachers

Guidance counsellors are essentially “teachers.” They are there to help the students, hear their concerns, and assist them with any personal issues they may face.

Z) No consistency, cooperation, or coordination

When you switch schools and learn the same things again it causes problems. But hey, there are A-Y reasons to worry about first!


20 Comments on A to Z reasons why Egypt’s education system is lacking

  1. well it’s not as easy as school we were tahgut to obey teacher no matter what.hence created many students to feel oppressed and silenced thus not being able to communicate freely.see it’s had been wrong at the beginning.


  2. Lots of excellent writing here. I wish I saw it found the site sooner.


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  4. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it is truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!


  5. This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Many thanks!


  6. I would very much like to read what decisions and actions taken to modernize education and orgaznitsaii schools …. What we sow – and then reaping. If God is that trust, we must do this liability – will respond to each


  7. Poorly written article with no statistics or figures. A lot of generalisation that may include a lot of truth but is inaccurate to a big extent.


    • Marwan kamal // December 21, 2013 at 9:04 am // Reply

      This articles information was gathered from local Egyptian students from the ages of 8-18 and their parents.

      These students are from all walks of life. Christian, Muslim, poor, and “rich”.

      I do not claim to have done a formal fact finding. due to limited resources as well as a lack of privileges to access the information should it have been already gathered I am unable to say that the information here is 100% true. Merely the common complaints of students and parents.

      You may also notice that this article is in the opinion section of this website as for the for mentioned reasons above.

      Unfortunatly a study done with the magnititude I suggest will likely not take place in Egypt (unless privately funded) for some time.


  8. welcome to the Arab republic of military coup


    • So, it was different in Morsi and Mubarak era:)))


      • Do you really think that Morsi or Mubarak may change the minds of all Egyptians?? Problems in people’s minds, that’s when everyone starts to think and act properly (stop being lazy, lying, go to work and do nothing, because there is little pay, steal, etc.) – and then the country will come changes for the better


  9. Too many spelling and grammar mistakes by the author 😦 Also an A-Z means each point should use that particular letter of the alphabet. Good points though.


    • Marwan kamal // December 21, 2013 at 9:06 am // Reply

      I do personally appolgise for the spelling mistakes.

      I have been working on this article for some time and was far too exited to have it published that I didn’t effectively proof read it.


      • excited not exited
        If you were more focused on having it published than the content at the very least being grammatically correct then you have just illustrated perfectly the topic of your own article. Egypt’s education is lacking.


  10. Strange…we have almost similar educational problems here in Pakistan.


  11. P.s. Learn–and–become a leader! Best wishes KEN


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