Egypt and the European Union recently concluded a nine-year project to improve the governance and quality of Egypt’s technical and vocational education system, and to enhance graduates’ readiness to join the labour market.
The project was the second phase of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Reform Programme in Egypt (TVET Egypt). Phase I ran from 2005 to 2013 and laid the basic strategic framework for reform of the TVET system in Egypt.
Phase II sought to improve the system’s structure and performance. Its 17 million-euro cost was shared between the European Union and the government Egypt.
Egyptian government officials are pleased with the programme’s outcome, and some said they hoped a third phase could be launched soon.
“The programme focused largely on modifying the curricula, improving the quality of technical education, and strengthening the system internally and externally. We worked on all of this, applying European standards to enhance quality assurance methodologies.”Mohamed Abdel-Salam, head of TVET Egypt’s coordinating and sub-committees
The Ministry of International Cooperation said in a statement that the programme had three goals: improving the governance of the TVET system; enhancing the quality of TVET programmes and their relevance to labour market needs; and supporting the transition of the system’s graduates into the labour market.
Qualifying Students for the Labour Market
Mohamed Abdel-Salam, head of the programme’s coordinating and sub-committees, said the project had achieved 85 to 90 percent of its goals.
“The programme focused largely on modifying the curricula, improving the quality of technical education, and strengthening the system internally and externally,” he told Al-Fanar Media. “We worked on all of this, applying European standards to enhance quality assurance methodologies.”
Based on what has been achieved, Abdel-Salam hopes to launch a third phase to “complete the educational system in a way that contributes to changing the societal view of technical education, and make it equal to higher education, and to better prepare students for the labour market.”
Mohamed Mousa Emara, head of the Technical Education Sector at Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education, said Egypt and the European partners were in talks about launching a new phase of the programme, but nothing could be announced until the parties agreed on an action plan.
Emara told Al-Fanar Media that the programme enhanced the competitiveness of technical and vocational education curricula by establishing a network of partnerships with various Egyptian ministries and private-sector actors.
“The programme enhanced students’ educational standard and skills, and increased competitiveness in line with the needs of the labour market,” he said. “It also improved the perception of technical and vocational training among Egyptians.”
“The programme enhanced students’ educational standard and skills, and increased competitiveness in line with the needs of the labour market. It also improved the perception of technical and vocational training among Egyptians.”Mohamed Mousa Emara, head of the Technical Education Sector at Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Technical Education
An official at Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, who asked to remain anonymous, said TVET Egypt and other technical education support programmes have helped spread the establishment of many technological universities in various Egyptian governorates, as well as the establishment of publicly run applied technology schools that receive support from private companies and train high school students in skills needed by specific industries. Schools in the latter group include El-Araby, Al-Suwaidi, and Ghabbour Schools of Applied Technology.
The official with the Ministry of Trade and Industry explained that the applied technology schools’ curriculum is parallel to the general curriculum of the Ministry of Education, and was implemented through coordination with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Planning, and the Ministry of Manpower.
He also cited the contribution of the Federation of Egyptian Industries as a major partner, through its various industrial chambers, to improve the performance of those in charge of the programme, by linking the schools’ curricula with industry, and transferring the necessary expertise to educational curricula.
Around 160,000 students have benefited from the programme, by taking specialised courses aimed at developing their skills in entrepreneurship and innovation, and attending practical training in factories, the official told Al-Fanar Media. At the end of the training, some of the students were nominated for jobs requested by companies where they trained, he added.
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