Education in Cairo

School system in Cairo

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The public education system in Egypt is well developed as a hub of education not only for Egypt, but for the whole Arab world. Today, Cairo is the center for many government offices governing the educational system. The city has the largest number of schools and institutions of higher education in Egypt. The Government of Egypt has placed high priority on improving the education system and is directed by the Ministry of Education of Egypt. With the support of the World Bank and other multilateral organizations Egypt is increasing the quality of its education.

The educational system is for children from 4–14 years old, with compulsory for 9 academic years, from 6 to 14 years old.
kindergarten 4-6 years old
primary school 6-12 years old
preparatory school 12-14 years old
secondary school 15 to 17 years old

Primary School

At the primary level students could attend several different types of schools.
Arabic Schools - A type of government school, these provide the governmental national curriculum in the Arabic Language. A governmental English language curriculum is taught starting at first Primary year and French is added as a second foreign language in Secondary Education.
Experimental Language Schools - Another type of government school, it teaches most of the government curriculum (Science, Mathematics and Computer) in English, and adds French as a second foreign language in Preparatory Education. An Advanced English language curriculum is provided in all Educational stages. Social Studies are taught in Arabic. Students are admitted into first grade at age seven; a year older than Arabic schools.

Secondary Education

The second tier of basic compulsory education is the preparatory stage or lower secondary which is three years long. There are different tracks:
General - The general secondary stage includes 3 years of education. This course is generally in preparation of the Basic Education Completion Certificate and is necessary to proceed to university.
Technical & Vocational - Three different fields: industrial, commercial and agricultural. This track takes from 3 – 5 years. After completion, graduates usually enter the workforce.


Only general secondary school graduates may be admitted to university after obtaining their General Secondary Education Certificate (GSEC) or an Advanced Technical Diploma with scores above 75 percent.

Al-Azhar System

Running in parallel to the public educational system, the Al-Azhar system consists of six years of primary stage, a three year preparatory stage and finally three years of secondary stage. This system is supervised by the Supreme Council of the Al-Azhar Institution, but remains under the Ministry of Education's watch. The curriculum is primarily concerned with religious subjects and all the students are Muslims, and males and females are separated in all stages. The graduates of this system are then automatically accepted into Al-Azhar University.

Private Schools

Many of the private schools were built by missionaries and are affiliated with churches. They may offer additional educational programs such as the American High School Diploma, the British IGCSE system, the French baccalauréat, the German Abitur or an International Baccalaureate.

There are generally four types of private schools:
Ordinary schools - Similar curriculum to government schools, but with smaller classes and attention to students's needs
Language schools - Teach most of the government curriculum in English, and add French or German as a second foreign language. High services and tuition. Some of these schools use French or German as their main language of instruction.
Religious Schools - Religiously oriented schools as Azhar schools or Catholic schools.
International Schools - Private schools that follow another country's curriculum, like a British, American, or French system. Degrees are earned from the Ministry of Education. These schools offer some of the best facilities & activities, but may have less rigorous course loads. Some Egyptian universities require higher grades than those of regular schools students as a minimum for enrollment, or an extra high school certificate like SAT.

Private Schools in Cairo

Cairo El-Nozha
Address: No.32 Abd El Rahman El Rafai St. - El Hegaz Square - Heliopolis
Telephone: 26226699

Adventist Private School
Address: No.17 El Zaitoon Police Station St. - Hadayek El Zaitoon
Telephone: 22566760

New Hope Christian School
Address: 610 South High Street Cairo, NE 68824-9738
Telephone: (308) 485-4169

Al Ahram Private Schools
Address: Al Shiekh Abeed St. - El Marg
Telephone: 24909453

Al Manar Private School
Address: No13 El Zayton St - El Zayton
Telephone: 22510368

El Wafaa El Azharian Institute Ffor Girls
Address: No.15 Santaryom Ali Abd El Rahman St. - East of Helwan
Telephone: 25551206 - 25485040

Kalo Sedan El Armaneya Private School
Address: No.20b El Galaa St. - Ramses
Telephone: 25752442

Manaret Modern School
Address: No 294 Port Said St. - El Sayeda Zeinab
Telephone: 23906740 - 23958866

Mere De Dieu School
Address: No 3 Abd El Rahman Fahmi St.-Garden City
Telephone: 27924451

New Heliopolis Private School
Address: No 29 Ibn El Hakam st- El Zaitoon
Telephone: 26345999

Rose School
Address: No.44 Abd El Rahman Nasr St. - Elzaytoon
Telephone: 22843231

Taba Private School
Address: Intersection of El Qebaly St. With Hassan Matar St. - El Malaa - Dar El Salaam
Telephone: 23214444

Universities in Cairo

Egypt is the home of some of the oldest institutes of learning in the world, and a jewel of education in the Middle East. There are roughly 17 public universities, 51 public non-university institutions, 16 private universities and 89 private higher institutions. However, there is a long way for the education system to go. Only about 30 percent of all Egyptians go to university and only half of them graduate. Standards at many universities range from suspect to abysmal. The government is working to correct the existing issues.

University Date of Foundation
Al Azhar University 975 - world's second oldest surviving degree granting university
Cairo University 1908
American University in Cairo 1919
Ain Shams University 1950
Arab Academy for Science & Technology and Maritime Transport 1972
Helwan University 1975
Misr International University 1996
Misr University for Science and Technology 1996
Nile University 2006

Update 4/12/2011


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