Connected education in Egypt
The project in brief
Refugees and Combating Human Trafficking Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt
The project started in October 2017.
The project was completed at the end of 2017/2018 academic year and fully operational for the 2018/2019 academic year. It can be renewed subject to availability of funding.
Installation of modern technology in Egyptian public schools attended by both refugees and host community children to improve efficiency and quality of education for all learners.
The project’s aim is to introduce connected learning in schools through modern technology. The project entails the installation of a display devices (projector) linked to a control unit (server computer), which is connected to the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MoETE) central database. Teachers have a tablet that allows them to connect to the MoETE central database through the server, and each student has a “student assessment and response unit” (clicker).
This enables any teacher to project, on a smart board or a wall, interactive study materials, and students can interact using the clicker. Within the structure of this Smart Classroom Solution, the MoETE has full access and control over the materials and process. The System also has many other functions that can track attendance, class progress and monitor teacher’s attendance.
The Ministry of Education has granted Syrian, Sudanese, South Sudanese and Yemeni refugee and asylum-seeker children full access to public education at same footing as nationals. The Ministry has been very supportive of UNHCR Egypt’s work for the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers into the more sustainable public schools’ system. The MoETE, the Ministry of Planning and UNHCR designed and implemented the project in partnership with Vodafone Egypt. This fruitful and cooperative relationship facilitated the smooth implementation of this valuable project.
- Ministry of Education and Technical Education (Egypt)
- UNHCR Egypt
- Vodafone Egypt
Challenges and how they were overcome
The project encountered some delays linked to sourcing the appropriate equipment. Moreover, installation faced some challenges related to the infrastructure in some schools (cabling and power sources). Connectivity was also an added challenge due to the volume of users and the connectivity prices.
The three partners in this project, namely the MoETE, UNHCR and Vodafone Egypt, worked very closely to find solutions to the challenged mentioned above. The required infrastructure was upgraded prior to the fitting of the equipment. Vodafone provided a one-year free connectivity to all equipped 720 classrooms as well as offered to install a Learning Management System (LMS) that would comply with MoE digital platforms and curriculum.
Results of the Good Practice
Classes are now more active due to the variety of activities conducted via this innovative Smart Classroom Solution, with consequent significant impact on learning outcomes and positive discipline. Feedback from teachers, school administrators and students – both from refugee and host communities – reported improved attendance rates.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
This project contributes to burden and responsibility sharing and responds to the needs of refugees and host communities, yielding sustained benefits for both refugees and host community children/learners. The project acted as a catalyst for MoETE and other actors working in the refugee and other mainstream education sector in Egypt to follow suit and start supporting more schools with equipment and solutions for digital education purposes.
Subject to availability of funding, the project could be expanded beyond the 720 completed classrooms. Moreover, the MoETE, UNHCR and Vodafone Group are currently working on a project to establish “Instant Classrooms”. This new initiative builds upon existing Ministry’s efforts to broaden the use of digitalized education, improve education quality and teachers’ capacity.
Neveen El Husseiny, Minister Plenipotentiary, Head of Migration, Refugees and Combating Human Trafficking Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt