Students attend class on the first day of their new school year at a government school in Giza, south of Cairo, September 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Nearly 35 percent of preparatory stage students in Egypt do not know how to read or write, the UNDP Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress report revealed.
The report, issued late September, also revealed that nearly 30 percent of teachers in pre-university education in Egypt are under-qualified, indicating an "incompatibility of qualifications and specialisations with actual teaching needs."
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued the report in cooperation with Egypt's Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform.
The report also stated that there is still high classroom density in primary schools in Egypt, reaching 43 students per classroom in 2013/14. It added that the classroom density rate in private schools has reached 32 students per classroom compared to 44 in public schools.
Net enrolment in primary education has declined from 95.4 percent in 2010/11 to 90.6 percent in 2013/14.
On the other hand, net enrolment in preparatory education has improved with an average of about 82.1 percent over the years 2010/11 to 2014/15.
The report concluded that Egypt is unlikely to realise the MDG targets in universal primary education.
In 2000, the UN issued the Millennium Declaration adopted by 189 member states, including Egypt, and more than 20 international organisations aiming to achieve the minimum level of development by 2015 through the adoption of the MDGs.
The MDGs include eight key goals: the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; the achievement of universal primary education; the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women; the reduction of child mortality; the improvement of maternal health; the combating of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; the ensuring of environmental sustainability; and the establishment of a global partnership for development.
Although Egypt is still far from achieving many of the MDGs, especially those concerning poverty and universal primary education, it has achieved some goals including reducing death rates associated with malaria, promoting an equal ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education and reducing the mortality rate of children under five-years-old.