Egypt to include Italian as second language in public schools starting 2024/25

Ahram Online , Friday 15 Dec 2023

Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Reda Hegazy signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ambassador Michele Quaroni of Italy in Cairo to include the teaching of Italian in all Egyptian public schools starting in the academic year 2024/2025.

Egypt s Minister of Education and Technical Education Reda Hegazy signing on Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ambassador Michele Quaroni of Italy in Cairo. Photo : Ministry of Education


Students will choose a second language from a list of options, aiming to equip them with the skills necessary to meet the demands of the job market. Hegazy emphasized the advantages of teaching languages to students at a young age.

The Egyptian Minister of Education praised the example set by one school in Fayoum, at which Italian is taught as a first foreign language. He also highlighted collaboration with Italy's Don Bosco technical schools.

From his side, Ambassador Quaroni said that this agreement will go into effect immediately, pointing out that the University of Siena in Italy has begun working on an Italian curriculum tailor-made for the Egyptian education system.

The Italian ambassador noted that this cooperative project will include the training of Italian language teachers, through the Italian Cultural Center, and distance learning.

The MoU stipulates that studying Italian would be optional in the first grade of preparatory school. Subsequently, students would be obliged to continue studying the language until the completion of their general or technical secondary education. The total duration of studying Italian in Egyptian public schools would span six years.

Moreover, the MoU outlined that language proficiency by the end of secondary school would correspond to level A2 of the European language proficiency standards outlined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

In March, Egypt’s Ministry of Education initially announced the addition of Italian as a second foreign language in an MoU with the Italian Ambassador.

Additionally, the Russian Ministry of Education declared, in March, the inclusion of Russian as a second foreign language in Egypt's schools and universities. The Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education has not, however, announced exactly when the language will be offered to students.

The decision to introduce Russian in Egypt's schools came a few days after a similar decision to include French as a "compulsory" second language in Egyptian public schools for students in the first year of middle school and above by the 2024/2025 academic year.

In September 2022, Deputy Minister of Education and Technical Education Mohamed Megahed announced that 12 preparatory schools in three governorates will offer Chinese as an optional second language in the upcoming 2023/2024 academic year.

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