Views of Non-Formal Education in Egypt

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Egyptians are deeply concerned about the state of education in their country. The vast majority are dissatisfied with the current education system as well as government efforts to improve it.
Perhaps as a result, most are worried that there is no possibility to provide their children with a good education. This combination means that youth non-formal education (NFE) programs hold a unique opportunity to yield significant gains in the
academic achievement of students in Egypt in the near-term. However, if such programs are to address both the perceived weaknesses of the Egyptian education system and the
concerns of the population, issues like cost, which limit participation, must be seriously considered. Across all demographics, cost is overwhelmingly cited as the biggest barrier to
participation. The prevalence of programs organized by private institutions only exacerbates this challenge.
In addition, programs must account for demographic differences. At present, the majority of youth who participate in NFE programs come from families with higher incomes, higher
education levels and who live in urban areas. Expanding opportunities for accessing youth NFE programs requires special focus on targeting Egyptians who reside in rural areas, who
have incomes below the median, and whose tend to have lower levels of education.
Non-formal education programs provide unique potential for bridging the gap between the existing education system and what increasing educational opportunities for the country’s
youth. However, careful consideration must be given to the types of programs most likely to be successful in the Egyptian context. Although youth NFE programs tend to be viewed
positively across the country, a substantial portion of Egyptians are either unaware of such programs or do not look upon them favorably. Moreover, programs should target
job-related skills as Egyptians consider these the most useful.
NFE programs should be promoted to potential participants with this consideration in mind.

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