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Children of the Nile: The Community Schools Project in Upper Egypt. Education for All: Making It Work. Innovation Series.

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In 1992, UNICEF signed an agreement with the government of Egypt to develop and coordinate a community schools project in the deprived villages of rural upper Egypt. Four pilot sites were selected in the governorate of Assiut based on minimum numbers of out-of-school children, lack of a school nearby, and the eagerness of the community to participate in the provision and management of the school. Genuine community involvement was considered critical to project success. Classes were scheduled at times convenient to community and family schedules. Maximum class size was 30 children with 2 facilitators. The facilitators were young women recruited locally and given intensive training in innovative teaching techniques. These included the use of art and music, self-learning, peer teaching, active learning, and enhancement of the official curriculum with subjects and activities relevant to the community and children's interests. In the second year, adult literacy classes were begun with trained, local women coordinators. The community schools became focal points for health services and community development activities. Outside evaluations showed that all children in the pilot schools completed first grade satisfactorily. By 1995, 125 community schools were in operation, with a 70 percent female enrollment rate and many positive outcomes. Remaining challenges are discussed, as well as program expansion and the need to integrate the community schools with a rural school project of the Egyptian government. (Contains photographs.) (SV)

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Author:Zaalouk, Malak
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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