The Price to Sidestep Egyptian Education

Cairo American College (from www.perkinseastman.com)

Cairo American College (from http://www.perkinseastman.com)

Cairoscene recently published a list of the seven most expensive schools in Egypt, with a picture of each. Here is the summary, with all figures in American dollars, per year:

  1. Cairo American College – $22,900
  2. American International School in Egypt – $10,300
  3. British International School in Cairo – $9,285
  4. Modern English School – $8,855
  5. El Alsson – $7,900
  6. The International Schools of Choueifat – $7,450
  7. Canadian International School – $6,990

One of Egypt’s deepest problems is its education system. Schools are overcrowded; teachers are underpaid. Many parents will spend much of their income on tutors to make up for the deficiency and ensure their children can pass exams.

But wealthier Egyptians can sidestep the system entirely, opting for high priced foreign curriculum. Many of these schools also employ international teachers, and pay them accordingly. Expat families also populate these schools, and Egyptian parents are thankful for the all-English education and interaction with foreign speakers.

To avoid government education there are also less expensive options for Egyptians. There is a system of ‘languages’ schools, private institutions that use a government curriculum in Arabic for the humanities and English for the sciences. They can cost several hundred to a couple thousand dollars per year, and are generally all-Egyptian.

There is also a system of religious schools, mostly Catholic, open to all Egyptians and also using the national curriculum. They tend to have a strong reputation for education and discipline, teach French or English alongside Arabic, and can cost significantly less.

The new constitution mandates a percentage increase in overall budget expenditure for education. Hopefully in time it has an effect and gives a solid foundation to all Egyptians, not just those who can pay for it.

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