Egypt has the most significant educational system in the (MENA); Middle East and North Africa according to the Human Development Index (HDI). Although the educational system had been developing hastily since the beginning of the 1990s, Egypt had been continuously facing serious and accumulated problems in education. An exploding population, an increasing poverty, low literacy rates, drastic injustice in schools qualities; schools in urban areas where the rich can pay for education are better than other schools in different areas, Low teaching salaries and inconsistent funding for the educational system by the government, all led to a decreasing educational quality mainly in the most essential and indispensable part of the educational system which is basic education, also it led many teachers to the road of private tutoring for extra income. Moreover, memorization rather than critical thinking was unwillingly encouraged through physical punishment in schools and homes. For countless Egyptian children fragmented information was the result and that was never considered real knowledge. Yet again as a product of these causes, more and more escalating numbers of graduates are found unemployed. Egypt will continue to face an educational crisis, as lack of well trained teachers, effective schools and developed educational equipment unless a much better financial commitment is made by the government. This essay will first demonstrate the main causes of the educational problem, examine the effects of these problems on the society, discuss and analyze the previously proposed solutions and finally enlighten a solution that will most likely work in our Egyptian society.
It is believed that overpopulation is one, if not the biggest problem affecting education in Egypt. This problem does not depend only on the size or density of the population, but also on the ratio of population to available resources. Furthermore, it depends on the way resources are used and distributed all over the population. According to a study made by the Human Development Index (HDI), in 1985-1986, nearly 155,000 primary and secondary teachers served 9.6 million people, a ratio of about 62 students per teacher. Now in 2011 with 85 million people and as the overpopulation crisis still continues to grow, this ratio is multiplied by eight times; a ratio of about 496 students per teacher. According to the United Nations’ projections “The rate of population growth will fall in the future, the total population will continue to increase significantly and will reach 8.5 billion by 2025”, (New York: united nations, 1991), thus, this will probably lead to a catastrophic ratio of about 3200 student per teacher that will lead to a more devastating result regarding education. Overpopulation can result from poor family planning and an increase in birth rate so a measured policy must be put into action at once to prevent further crisis.
Poverty as one of the key factors of educational problem, it must be addressed and analyzed. Education was never placed as one of the top priorities of the poor; more significance was given to their basic needs. Basic needs as Food and shelter are the most important needs for any individual for immediate survival, while education on the other hand is an essential need for future survival. However, due to the limited income and partial resources of the poor along with the high costs of education, they give up future survival for immediate survival just to be capable of meeting their daily expenditures.
Low literacy rates affect the educational system in Egypt in a critical way; this problem has overwhelmed Egypt for decades. Even though the proportion of literacy has steadily increased over the past few years and more and more people are able to read and write, most of them are not able to create or invent anything new. The ability to participate in the community is almost absent. Literacy as a word is...