Washington, D.C. – A project directed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Egypt, and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has opened the country’s largest school complex, a facility benefiting 4,600 students.
The Princess Neemat Palace School complex, in the Al Marg district of Cairo, was built by the Education Reform Program (ERP). AIR is responsible for implementing the program under a cooperative agreement with USAID.
The complex contains a preparatory and secondary school for boys and a secondary school for girls. An additional three primary schools will be built in the near future, which will increase the total number of students at the facility to 8,600.
The program is designed to serve and strengthen the quality of education through both formal and non-formal programs. In addition to guiding construction of the facility, ERP also recruited new teachers and provided professional development training for them.
“The Princess Neemat Palace School is a tribute to the spirit of collaboration between the Egyptian government, the local community, and USAID and ERP,” said Jane Benbow, who directs AIR’s work in Egypt. “This shows how strengthening education today provides hope for a better future for everyone.”
The opening ceremony, on July 9, 2008, was led by Cairo Governor Dr Abdel Azim Wazir, and included Farida Farahat, the general manager for the Marg Educational Administration (Idarra), and USAID Mission Director Hilda Arellano.
The complex “is the result of an unprecedented level of cooperation between the ERP, the Egyptian government, and most importantly the community of Al Marg,” said Farahat. She said, “The project is a milestone for all the organizations involved, showing that a cooperative relationship between the school, students, and the community can be forged with the aim of helping students reach their full potential and the highest academic achievements.”
The design of the school, by Abdel-Halim Community Development Collaborative of Cairo, recently won an award as one of the top 10 architectural designs in Egypt.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity.