Egypt’s Education Reform Program
The Education Reform Program (ERP) in Egypt is a USAID-funded cooperative agreement with AIR. ERP is USAID’s response to the Government of Egypt’s effort to reform the education system to support effective schools and improved learning outcomes. ERP is an integrated program working to strengthen community participation, professional development, decentralization, standards based performance, and monitoring and evaluation in order to increase the quality of educational outcomes. It works to establish the systems and capacity to sustain educational quality outcomes on both the national and local level.
ERP focuses on the introduction of innovations in school reform across seven governorates on the Nile River: Alexandria, Cairo, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Qena, Minia, and Aswan. These school-based reforms increase the number of Egyptian children in school through school construction; improve the quality of instruction by training teachers; and improve the effectiveness of schools by building the skills of education managers. The program also strengthens community participation in education by promoting adult literacy, involving communities in the girls’ scholarship program, and managing small grants.
ERP’s school-based reforms place the school at the center of a community-wide effort to enhance the quality of education. ERP empowers schools and communities to work together to build the skills necessary to help every target school meet the requirements of new Egyptian learning standards to achieve accreditation. Where previous efforts to meet these learning standards were directed from the central Ministry of Education (MOE), ERP has spearheaded an innovative approach that facilitates a spirit of collaboration between the MOE and communities to work together and meet these goals in every school.
Guided by the Egyptian national learning standards, ERP is helping every student in each targeted school to achieve improved learning outcomes. ERP is helping the MOE to design and implement formative assessment activities, and strengthening the knowledge and skills of teachers to assess student achievement throughout the school year. Education managers are being trained to maximize their budgets and improve their planning and decision-making skills, ensuring schools operate more effectively. More than 8,000 teachers and managers will be trained by the end of 2009, in over 250 schools.
The school construction component of ERP ensures greater access to education by building 11 schools in the seven governorates. The schools are targeted in districts with the highest classroom density. Each school is also built with innovative designs to foster student-centered learning and enable easy access for community education activities. In all, ERP is building 264 classrooms, providing spaces for more than 11,000 students.
ERP’s Girls’ Scholarship program provides three distinct types of education support services to targeted communities:
- Scholarships in the form of school and health fees, uniforms and shoes, and educational supplies;
- Activities that address issues and constraints related to girls not attending school, such as transportation to school, birth certificates, and awareness building on the value of education for girls; and
- Activities that address issues and constraints that cause girls to drop out of school, such as tutorial classes, big sister programs, and improved school environments. By the end of the program, ERP will have supported 188,266 scholarship recipients in 759 primary schools, 397 preparatory schools, 141 secondary schools and 159 multi-grade schools.