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Nonformal Education

Nontraditional Learning Environments: Science clubs are developing at the governorate level. By the mid-1990s, 12 such clubs had been established to provide activities in the field of electronics, environmental studies, computers, and science. A new interactive, hands-on science museum (The Exploratory Science and Technology Center) is developing at Nokrashi Secondary School. Technologically equipped trucks (mobile laboratories) provide a form of "Exploratory Education Center" to reach distant villages and towns. Also under development are Culture Museums using multimedia (a collaborative project between the Ministry of Education and the Supreme Council of Antiquities) and model schools of the future and schools for the gifted.

Adult education in rural areas is of vital importance in Egypt where in recent years, agricultural performance has seriously declined. Self-sufficiency in food production once at 94.5 percent declined by 1995 to only 52 percent. Illiteracy is high. Skill training in the agricultural sector is provided by extension educators as part of a Training and Visit system (T&V) linking farmers and agricultural research centers. Extension educators train farmers as adopter-leaders. The Agricultural Research Centers (ARC) operates eight research stations in different regions, each specializing in the main commodity of regional importance. In addition, agricultural faculties exist at 10 universities. Primary educational concerns center on how best to deliver educational and training programs.

Open university education assists with the process of Continuing Education to provide education for those who might have missed it or provide an opportunity for those who are already employed. In 1996, a total of 20,000 students participated in open education programs at the universities at Cairo, Alexandria, and Assiut. In addition "directed affiliation" programs, available at the colleges of Art, Law, Commerce, Social Work, Arabic Studies, and Colleges of Arts at the Women's colleges, expand opportunities for students. One hundred twenty-nine thousand students, representing about 17 percent of all university students, participated in these programs in 1996. Egypt's distance education initiatives include a regional communications network (RITSENE) implemented in 1995 and a Regional IT Institute, established in 1992. Current IT use is centered within a small, well-educated elite. The state-sponsored Regional Information Technology and Software Engineering Center (RITSEC) promotes networking, software development, and education of computer professionals through conferences, training programs and its web-accessible Information Technology Service (IDSC). Internet services are available through Cairo University and the American university. Egyptian specialists, students abroad, and the expatriate community supply more online information from outside the country than is provided within Egypt.

Nonformal education is also offered by NGOs registered with Egypt's Ministry of Social Affairs. Egypt's NGO sector, today numbering 14,000 to 15,000 private non-profit organizations, offers training, sewing classes, religious instruction, and tutoring for the middle and lower-middle classes, but rarely for the poor. Most rural areas have no NGOs, as geographic outreach is concentrated around the provincial cities. The Community Development Associations (CDAs) category of NGOs offer sewing classes for girls and women, and skills training for youth as well as health clinics. Private (NGO) and governmental (rural welfare) societies have joined forces to deal with the accelerating out-migration from villages to the cities. Coordination of all services became codified into law in 1945. Religious-based (Muslim and Christian) welfare associations offering general education and religious instruction for youth. Although public education is free, the cost of supplementary tutoring so essential for success on all-important examinations, is a heavy burden on middle and low-income families.

Muslim NGOs and rural CDAs are establishing religious (Al-Azhar) institutes with government funding in response to the critical shortage of public schools and classrooms. "Religious" projects are frequently an effective NGO strategy for circumventing bureaucratic obstacles and garnering private donations for multipurpose facilities. There are 1 to 24 international NGOs (e.g., CARE, Save the Children, Project Hope, Near East Foundation) in Egypt that provide training and technical assistance to local NGOs, but little information on their educational activities is available. The MOE reports in 2000 that Egypt has about 90 postsecondary educational agreements with other countries including faculty exchange, joint research, delegations, symposia, and periodical and book exchange programs. Egypt and Qatar, for example, have an agreement for 2000-2003 on educational and scientific research cooperation. Egypt's international programs involve both Arabic and western countries. The international programs primarily benefit the educated elite.

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