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Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Government Agencies: Educational administration in Egypt is structured into four main levels. At the top is the Ministry of Education (MOE), headquartered in Cairo and headed by the Minister. The ministry contains nine functional areas of administrative support: finance, administrative development, statistics, education (technical, general, and basic), and service (extracurricular, instructional materials, and general). The MOE is charged with establishing plans, programs, procedures, and administrative support systems for carrying out national education policies established by the Higher Council for Pre-University Education, the highest educational policy body in the country. The MOE also oversees the Supreme Council of Universities. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs administers Al-Azhar University and associated schools.

The Supreme Council of Universities defines the general policies of university education and scientific research and determines admission numbers, fields of specialization, and equivalencies. The Supreme Council is comprised of the Minister of Education (Chair), presidents of various universities, experts, and the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Universities. In 1994, new councils were created to assist the Supreme Council: a Council for University Education and Student Affairs, A Council for Graduate Studies and Research, and a Council for Community Service and Environmental Development. The second main structural level is found in each of the regional governates. Since the 1970s, an incremental approach to decentralized decision-making has been taking place. An undersecretary or director general heads the educational system of each governate. Most of the regional planning, teacher appointments, evaluation, and training occur at this level. The third level is the district headed by a district director general. Finally, the fourth level is the director of the individual school, called a headmaster. The headmaster has minimal decisionmaking authority and functions basically as a teacher coordinator and identifier of problems that are sent up the hierarchy for others to solve. Except for the Minister, all administrators begin their careers in the classroom and work their way up a rigidly maintained seniority ladder.

The Ministry of Education supplies capital and operating expenses for public education through taxes, customs, and other general and local revenues. Additional revenue derives from examination fees, local levies, and donations. In some cases, local jurisdictions construct new schools and turn them over to the Ministry. Significant external funding has been provided by USAID, extensively supporting basic education, and UNESCO, supporting literacy and adult education. Teachers are allocated to schools on the basis of official enrollment levels and are paid out of the central budgets allocated to each educational zone. Books and most other student supplies are centrally purchased and distributed to the schools according to enrollments. The budgeting process provides a degree of regional participation in resource allocation: the governates propose their financial requirements based on formula-driven teacher/student/school ratios. The rigid formulas, however, limit flexibility. The Ministry of Education prioritizes the budget requests before sending the entire package to the Ministry of Finance where final decisions are made.

UNESCO reported that from 1975 to 1983, the percentage of GNP spent on education declined from 5 percent to 4.1 percent. In 1988, education in Egypt received 10.6 percent of the national budget. Of 23 comparable middle and lower middle-income nations reporting, only Turkey spent less on education (10 percent). Expenditures on education increased during the 1990s largely as a result of an extensive school building program and in 1998, reached 19 percent of total spending (between 6 and 7 percent of GDP). In the 1980s, public universities—accounting for roughly seven percent of total student enrollment—received more than one-fourth of the education budget. In 1984, budget and personnel figures painted a "top heavy" picture as they reported as much as 25 percent of personnel salaries earmarked for administration, an unusually high figure. For each primary school (grades 1 through 6), there were 2.2 headmasters and 1.9 vice-principals.

Educational Research: The National Center for Educational Research in the Central Ministry of Education coordinates educational policy with that of the National Specialized Councils, exchanges information with the institutions throughout the world, provides local and foreign documents on education, and publishes various works on education in Egypt and the Arab world. Critics complain that research at the Center is rarely directed toward guiding the future of education with analyses of economic and social trends in terms of occupational needs.

Most research occurs in isolated sectors of schools of education housed in Egypt's main universities. Egyptian educational research was originally designed according to statistical models and focused on answering questions relative to the effects of student and environmental characteristics on rates of learning. The research largely resulted in teacher education programs characterized by study of psychology, environmental factors, cultural values, experiential education, and the "Egyptianization of the Stanford Binet IQ test." In the 1990s, university-sponsored research projects within masters and doctoral programs aimed at increasing effective planning in the areas of educational economics, adult education, special education, and educational administration. Little coordination occurs however, between the university and government research to inform national policy.

Additional topics

Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceEgypt - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education