Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: facebook.com/AlSisiofficial/)
Countries are built only though work, effort, and suffering, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Monday during the second day of the World Youth Forum (WYF) in South Sinai's Sharm El-Sheikh.
In a session of the forum titled 'How to Build Future Leaders,' El-Sisi spoke about efforts to develop the country's education system.
El-Sisi said there is a real crisis in expanding school and class infrastructure, which he says is an outstanding issue that needs to be solved.
"The current state of the education system requires us to build 250,000 new classrooms at a value of EGP 130 billion," he said, adding that funding is needed to overcome this major challenge.
El-Sisi added that the government is working to change the reality in Egypt, and having confidence is necessary for this to happen.
"You say that we are late, but we have a priority to first stop the country from falling," El-Sisi said, addressing the delay in developing education in Egypt.
The president said that Egypt has launched a programme to enhance both basic and higher education, explaining that the state's National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation paves the way for the youth to become future leaders.
"We are keen on the idea and are developing it, and have made an avenue for picking young people with the ability to give. Young people with such talents and abilities have the right to get their chanceso they can be utilised to hold leadership positions that will benefit the state," he said.
The president also addressed for the first time the soaring price of potatoes, which led the country's interior ministry to intervene to end the crisis.
In late October, Egyptians started queuing up in long lines outside the ministry of interior's makeshift food supermarkets to buy potatoes; one of the country's most important starch staples.
Two weeks after the potato shortage started, the interior ministry announced that it is making potatoes available to the public at its food outlets in several governorates at wholesale prices to alleviate the burden on citizens.
The ministry sold potatoes at EGP 6 per kilo, as the shortage had pushed the price as high as EGP 15 (approximately $0.84) per kilo.
Egyptians have recently seen a hike in the price of some basic food commodities as inflation hit 15.4 percent in September, with the cost of vegetables increasing by a monthly rate of 17.2 percent, according to CAPMAS.
The president condemned the focus on such problems.
"Do you want to be a state that has value or should we search for potatoes?" El-Sisi said.
The WYF's second day started with discussions on social media and its impact and effect on users.
The forum, which sees the attendance of 5,000 participants this year, concludes on Tuesday.