Egypt's Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem has signed a decree exempting students with special needs from fees required for their artistic education in Talent Development Centres affiliated with the Cairo Opera House.
The Opera centres located in Cairo, Alexandria, Damanhour and Tanta provide a large scope of educational activities including playing instruments, singing, ballet courses, and others.
The centres are attended by large numbers of children, young people as well as adult students benefitting from the education provided to them by artists working at the Cairo, Alexandria, Damanhour opera houses, teachers affiliated with the Cairo Conservatory as well as other renowned artists.
The decision to exempt students with special needs from fees will be effective starting 1 October when the activities in those institutions resume, after they were put on hold starting 9 March and the general shutdown of all cultural activities in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The fee exemption is part of the ministry's larger plan to cater to the development of children and young people with special needs, discovering and nurturing their unique artistic talents.
Among the ministerial initiatives focusing on people with special needs is a Golden Talent competition which invites the participants to showcase their talent in the fields of music performance and singing.
Organised by the Cultural Development Fund operating under the culture ministry, the annual Golden Talent's third edition announced a call for entries last August, with a deadline set for 10 September. This year, the competition expanded its scope to young people aged 15-30 who have visual impairment.
The CDF is also organising Bokra Ahla Forum for Special Needs, showcasing skills in a variety of artistic/creative disciplines, such as plastic art, literary writing, singing in solo and in group, playing an instrument, theatre and performance. The Forum's 7th edition took place in December 2019.
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