Dubai Cares is launching its first initiative in Egypt - a three-year AED7.3 million (US$2 million) programme to improve girls' education in the country.
The "Ensuring Supportive and Safe Quality Education for Girls in Egypt" project will focus on inclusivity and empowerment, an enhanced school environment, development of teaching methods, and revision of school curricula.
Additionally, the programme aims to improve the standard of education for 15,000 students, and ensure they have a safe environment to learn in Upper Egypt's Assiut, Beni Suief, and Minya governorates.
It will also cultivate girls' leadership skills through extracurricular activities and sports as well as participating in student unions.
The programme has been developed in response to the fact that despite near-universal primary school enrolment and an increase in Egypt's public education budget, a large number of the country's girls are still missing out on quality education or any education at all.
Despite near-universal enrollment in primary education in Egypt, which has been in place for several years, a recent study, conducted by the Population Council, found that around 26% of girls surveyed in the country's frontier governorates, and 23% of those surveyed in rural parts of Upper Egypt, had never attended school, as opposed to 10% and 7% of boys surveyed in these respective area. Egyptian primary schools also have, on average, around 43 students per class, but some governorates such as Giza, with 52 students per class have an even higher student-to-teacher ratio.
Commenting on the initiative, Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg said: "Our objective for this new and diverse program is to allow girl students in Egypt to recognize and realise their full potential, opening their eyes to what education makes possible, and providing the teaching and learning environment that underpins a quality education. Designed to cultivate leaders and lifelong learners; Dubai Cares aims to build a sustainable and enduring educational and societal legacy for Egypt."
Dubai Cares country programme officer Nada Hajjri added: "This program takes elements of what we know is working in addressing girls' education and puts them together to create an integrated package aimed at improving girls' education in Upper Egypt. Through improving school infrastructure, safety of girls in schools, gender awareness, girls' leadership abilities, and teachers' skills in active learning methods, we hope to empower the girls reached by this program."