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| Published in Education in the World | Written by Patricia May

Education in Egypt: A Brief Review and Interesting Facts

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The entire education system of  Egypt is very interesting and unique. There were three cultural and educational heritages that formed Egyptian education: Islamic Egyptian, secular Egyptian, and British factors. Thanks to British protectorate Egypt has a very interesting and well-controlled system nowadays.

However, some time ago education here was the privilege of the elite of the country. For others, there were not many ways to choose of. Poor natives could take religious or expensive private education only.

The interesting fact is that Muhammad Ali is known as the main protector of modern education in Egypt. He introduced the western type of educational philosophy to the whole country. Since the monarchy ended the science in Egypt become stronger and developed. It is due to a bloodless revolution. The Islamic education evolved and mixed with the western type and educational points. However, the whole educational system in Egypt is divided into two parts.

The Islamic educational tradition and modern public education are existing together creating very unusual tandem in the Egyptian culture and educational life. The primary role of forming the whole educational tradition and culture in Egypt played the famous Al-Azhar University. It still plays the central role in shaping the educational, cultural, and religious canons and forms in modern Egypt.

There are three main points in Islamic system of education. They are religious schools called madrasas, mystical orders called Sufi, and mosque schools called kuttabs. It is hard to imagine, but all these types of schools exist in one country and one educational system.

Moreover, Egyptian educational system does not afraid of implementing innovations improving some traditional ways of Quran learning. The whole process of learning is based on every aspect of pupil’s life including trivial, social, and spiritual points and factors. Egyptian teachers are very popular in the rest of the Arab world. They are teaching in schools and universities in other countries.

There are three main stages of education in Egypt. The first one is for the basic level of 4 to 14 years old kids. There is also a kindergarten stage (2 years for each kid). There are also a preparatory school and primary school in Egypt (3 and 6 years).

The secondary school in Egypt is for kids of 15 and up to 17 years old and lasts for 3 years. The whole educational system is made of 9 years of academic education for ages of six to fourteen. Any government run schools have free levels of schools.


Egyptian education is a perfect framework for the Arab culture. It reflects social and economic changes in the country. It is always struggling between traditions and innovations.

Foreign influences

There is some really massive foreign influence on Egyptian education nowadays. Fulbright and UNESCO are given lots of support to the entire educational tradition in the country. These two organizations are training teachers abroad. The World Bank also supports the educational reform in Egypt. It is a part of loan programs in Egypt.

Moreover, Egyptian scientists and students are using some equipment, expertise, and facilities from different countries like USA, Japan, Germany, France, and Italy. UNICEF tries to develop some new educational programs and materials for Egypt schools as well. Egyptian teachers are visiting the USA and Great Britain island to master their teaching skills.