Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed late on Sunday with Minister of Education Tarek Shawky the national project to develop education, the country's new Japanese schools, the high school evaluation system, and technical education, a statement by El-Sisi's spokesperson Bassam Rady read.
During the meeting, El-Sisi expressed his support for developing the education system within the framework of the state’s strategy to build the Egyptian character and invest in human beings.
He added that the aim of implementing the new education system is "to teach students skills that would enable them to meet the requirements of the job market by helping them be creative, innovative and familiar with the latest technologies and scientific developments."
El-Sisi also stressed the importance of giving attention to sports and physical activity and organising competitions between schools. This comes in line with El-Sisi's calls for greater awareness of the problem of obesity. According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed, 75 percent of Egyptians are overweight.
El-Sisi also hailed the Japanese school system in Egypt, calling on the school management to maintain their level of excellence, taking into consideration that this a pioneering experiment that can be expanded.
The meeting also reviewed programmes and projects that are related to developing education such as training teachers, offering tablets and providing interactive learning tools for the new high-school system.
This is in addition to discussing building schools to decrease classroom density, providing educational services to deprived areas, increasing the accommodation rate in kindergartens and accommodating the population increase.
The meeting also touched on topics related to the Egyptian Knowledge Bank and efforts to establish applied technology schools according to international quality standards and cooperation with Germany to develop technical education in Egypt.
On Monday, Shawky said in comments to the privately owned Extra news channel that the president is continuously following up on all details related to the education development programme.
The minister also commented about 'Discover Book' (a book covering math, science, and social studies) which is taught in the new education system. The minister explained that this book is similar to books taught in the International Baccalaureate system.
About the Japanese schools, Shawky said that the idea for these schools comes from El-Sisi's admiration of the Japanese character.
The minister also said that 18,000 tablets will be distributed to students in the first secondary year in Suez Canal cities within seven days, adding that the rest will be handed out in January and February.
There are 425,000 tablets in the warehouses of the Education Ministry, he said, adding that the total number of tablets to be distributed to students is 713,000. Shawky described the new education system in Egypt as revolutionary.
According to Shawky, Egypt is expected to participate in an education conference in the United Kingdom in January.