CAIRO, Egypt, March 13, 2019/ — The Ministry of Education (MOE) in Egypt and the World Food Programme (WFP) are introducing new digital tools and technology in community schools to help reduce the technology gap between children in schools in rural areas and their more privileged peers in the formal education system.
WFP and the Ministry have provided over 1,800 computer tablets to community schools (one per school) in remote rural areas in eight governorates in Upper Egypt, and trained teachers in their use. Using these tablets and the internet, teachers can now access the Egyptian Knowledge Bank, Egypt’s largest national education platform. This allows teachers to increase their own knowledge about various topics while assisting their students to enhance their learning using dynamic and engaging educational content.
“We now live in a fast-paced world where school children today can easily access an unparalleled amount of information within seconds,” said WFP Egypt Representative and Country Director Menghestab Haile. “In Egypt, some schools are able to keep up but others fall behind. With this initiative, we’re ensuring that no child is left behind. It’s a way of encouraging self-growth, social mobility and ultimately supporting national development goals.”
By connecting tablets to projectors in the classroom, teacher can help children explore the world through videos, games, songs, photos and stories. Introduced last year, school tablets have already shown a positive impact on children, making them more engaged and encouraging them to explore new ideas.
To help the Ministry monitor progress in education in remote schools, WFP is supporting the development of a customized class-management ‘app’. Once launched, teachers will be trained on how to use tablets to record and track attendance, grades, and the daily distribution of WFP’s nutritious midday snack at schools. By linking the app to the Ministry’s information systems, government stakeholders will have access to real-time data to monitor and evaluate educational progress and challenges.
“Introducing technology and e-learning systems in schools is a nationwide initiative led by Egypt’s Ministry of Education. This digital transformation is providing students with the necessary tools to take their educational experience to another level,” said Egypt’s Minister of Education Tarek Shawki . “We are keen on providing children in marginalized areas with equal access to education to bridge the knowledge gap among students in various parts of Egypt.”
MOE and WFP have also successfully developed two innovative new platforms to facilitate the work of government officials and educationalists: one that provides dynamic and interactive analysis of key education targets through online visual dashboards; and another which analyses MOE’s data and shows geographical locations on maps.
WFP has been working in Egypt since 1968 and is currently supporting more than one million people through different projects in the country’s most vulnerable governorates. WFP activities aim to enhance the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups in a way that is sustainable and lasting.