Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Asharq Al-Awsat-– Egypt announced the adoption of the World Economic Forum’s Education Initiative, which aims to improve schooling in the country through the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies. Launched with the backing of the First Lady of Egypt, Suzanne Mubarak, and His Excellency the Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif, the Egyptian Education Initiative (EEI) was announced on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East taking place in Sharm El Sheikh on 20-22 May 2006.
“Investing in our children’s education is investing in Egypt’s future”, said Yousry El Gamal, Minister of Education of Egypt.
Hoda Baraka, Egyptian Education Initiative Programme Director, added, “By implementing this partnership, the government of Egypt, together with World Economic Forum member companies and organizations, will pave the way for the transformation of our society to a knowledge society and contribute to the development and prosperity of our community.”
The EEI will focus on four tracks: pre-university education, higher education, lifelong learning and e-learning industry development. The first phase of the EEI will impact 820,000 students in 2,000 schools, and over 300 colleges.
The Arab Business Council of the World Economic Forum has pledged its support for the EEI as part of its education programme. A letter of intent has also been signed by eight international ICT companies, CA, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Siemens, as well as the government of Egypt and the World Economic Forum, confirming the commitment of each and every one of them to work together to achieve EEI objectives.
“We celebrate the vision and leadership of the government of Egypt in this initiative. Together with our members and partners, we believe that it is through public-private partnerships (PPP) such as the EEI that we can improve the state of the world,” added Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The Egyptian Education Initiative builds on a proven model of public-private partnership that combines the strengths of government, the private sector and civil society stakeholders to advance education. The Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) was the first PPP launched, and a similar initiative is now operating in the Indian State of Rajasthan.
To date the JEI has brought together no less than 17 global corporations, 17 Jordanian entities and 11 governmental and non-governmental organizations that are working together to achieve the initiative’s objectives in partnership with the government of Jordan. Direct contributions to the Initiative from global and local partners have now reached more than US$ 25 million, and it is estimated that in Jordanian schools it has already led to the improvement in e-content development skills for more than 50,000 pupils in 100 “Discovery Schools”.