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New Japanese schools in Egypt open doors for students in October

The first of a group of new Japanese schools in Egypt will aim at encouraging innovation and creativity, along with virtue and physical wellbeing

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Sep 2017
 Japanese schools
New Japanese school in Suez, Egypt (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

The first of a group of new Japanese schools in Egypt that adopt the whole child education system Tokkatsu will open doors to students in October, a spokesman of Egypt's education minister told Ahram Online Sunday.

Registration for the five new schools, which run from kindergarten through Grade 3, will start 26 September on the ministry's website and run for five days, spokesman Ahmed Khairy said.

The project, which aims to create 100 of such schools, is sponsored by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi following his visit to Japan in February 2016. Under a cooperation protocol signed between Egypt and Japan in May 2017, Japan provides the necessary technical support for the project.

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

The new schools will teach the same curricula of government schools 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 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," Khairy said.

Around 40 Egyptian teachers received special training in Japan to join the school; a Japanese technical delegation is in Cairo to supervise the project, Khairy said.

Main requirements for enrollment include living in the same location as the schools. The five new schools are located in Cairo's Al-Shorouk City, 5th Settlement, and the governorates of Assuit and Minya.  Another school is currently under construction in the governorate of Suez, east of Cairo, according to provincal official at the education ministry abdel Hafez Wahid.

Parents are required to sign an avowal to spend at least 20 hours during the school year in workshops with their children at the school.

Each class at the school is planned to comprise 40-45 students, and runs until 5pm, an average of three hours longer than private and state-run schools.

Fees will range between LE 2000-4000 ($113-225).

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