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Egypt to open registration for Japanese schools next week: Minister

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Jun 2018
Japanese school
An under-construction Japanese school at Egypt's Beheira governorate (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's education ministry will open the door on 2 July for enrolment at the country's new Japanese schools, which will adopt the whole child education system Tokkatsu, Education Minister Tarek Shawky said during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The schools were scheduled to open last October before the education ministry postponed studies to be better prepared and ensure a sufficient level of quality and selection criteria, the ministry said at the time.

Shawky says 45 of these schools will open in September.

The project, which aims to create 100 such schools, was agreed on during Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's visit to Japan in February 2016. Under a cooperation protocol signed between Egypt and Japan in 2017, Japan is providing the necessary technical support for the project.

Observers, teachers and parents believe that Egypt's education system needs a massive overhaul. Critics say that the system, which is based on rote learning, does not give students necessary practical skills, leaving them unqualified for college and hindering their transition to the workplace.

The fees for the Japanese schools will be around EGP 10,000 ($560), compared to the average $5.5 for state-run schools, which are mostly attended by students from low-income families.

The new schools will teach the same curricula of government schools in Arabic while adopting the Japanese "whole child education" system known as Tokkatsu.

Tokkatsu's course of study focuses on achieving a balanced development of intellect, virtue and body by ensuring academic competence, rich emotions and healthy physical development.

The ministry says that the schools will focus on enhancing the child's personality rather than scientific content by introducing a special system that is meant to improve students' cognitive skills and behaviour while encouraging innovation and creativity.

Earlier this week, Egypt's parliament approved a $168 loan from Japan that will be used to set up the schools.

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