The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al Mashat began her visit to the Assiut Governorate by touring a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) School, which comes within the framework of bilateral cooperation between Egypt and the United States of America. During the visit, the Minister was accompanied by Major General Essam Saad, the Governor of Assiut.
The school is one of the STEM schools implemented in partnership with the USAID, within the Basic Education Agreement amounting to $124 million since 2014.
This is implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, aiming to ensure educated, and skilled youth who can meet the demands of a dynamic labor market.
Al Mashat stressed the importance of partnerships with the USA and the USAID, to support the development efforts implemented in Egypt across sectors.
The Ministry of International Cooperation is working on establishing the new 2021 – 2025 strategy with the USAID to build on the efforts achieved in the last period in different areas including; SMEs, education, gender equality, and youth empowerment.
The Minister added that the STEM schools project is being implemented in 11 governorates across the country, as 18 schools were implemented within the framework of cooperation between Egypt and the USA, benefiting over 5,000 students in its first phase.
Al Mashat explained that STEM schools play a key role in accelerating the Government of Egypt’s efforts to enhance investment in human capital in cooperation with development partners, so as to prepare the youth for the demands of a dynamic labor market.
In 2021, Egypt concluded development financing agreements worth $2.47 billion in terms of investing in human capital in sectors such as, food security, health, basic and higher education, and SMEs.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, and to provide qualified instructors to work in STEM schools, a one-year diploma and 4-year university program was established in 5 public universities, including Assiut University, to prepare teachers specialized in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to be able to lead the educational process in STEM schools.
Last November, Egypt and the USAID signed 7 grant agreements worth $25 million within the framework of joint economic relations between both countries, thus enhancing development cooperation in several fields, in line with the country’s 2030 Vision.
The signed agreements allocate $17 million to the sector of basic education; $31 million to the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI); $4 million to U.S-Egyptian cooperation in the sector of science and technology; $27 million to economic governance; $5 million to agriculture and rural development; and $28 million to bolstering trade and investment in Egypt.
It is worth noting that the current portfolio of cooperation with the USAID amounted to about $1 billion at the end of 2021, and the current portfolio of development cooperation in the education and technical education sector amounted to about $684 million.