The education in Egypt
The Egyptian school law obliges the primary public schools to teach only in classic Arabic, but she allows the private schools to teach the other languages besides official Arabic. It means that there are several English and French schools reserved for affluent classes, then rare schools intended for the Armenian or Greek minorities.
As for the secondary sector, the pupils have to learn a foreign language from the first cycle: they have the choice between English and French. In the second cycle, it is necessary to them to choose the second foreign language: English or French (the one who was not chosen in the first cycle), German, Italian or Spanish. About 60 000 pupils study so at present in schools of French language.
In universities, the system is more supple, even if as a rule classic Arabic remains the language of education. In reality, according to the faculties and the disciplines, English and French also establish languages of university education. For example, the medicine, the genius (engineering) and the sciences generally are taught in English, the right in French; several faculties dispense their education at once(at the same time) in French and in English.
Let us add some words on the education of the religion in Egypt in the "civil" said Egyptian schools, These teach the Moslem religion or the Christian religion, according to governmental official programs. It is not possible to the relatives to dispense their children of the religious education, nor to choose the religion of these last ones. When one of the parents is Muslim, the children are necessarily considered as Moslem and educated according to this religion. Furthermore, there is no possibility of learning another religion than those fixed by the State. As the Moslem pupils, the Christian pupils are obliged to learn the Christian religion, according to an official program fixed by a commission chosen by the ministry of Education and the education. In all the civil schools, this education occupies three hours a week to the primary cycle (on total one from 27 to 34 hours of study), and two hours in the cycles.
The courses of Arabic language (classic) make a wide part for exclusively Moslem religious events. For example, every Christian pupil receives a little of religious education when he follows Arab courses, while a Muslim pupil ignores everything of the Christian religion. The textbooks of class used in Arab courses stay too strongly influenced by the Islam. So, in the introduction of a textbook of Arabic, we can learn that his objective is to implant in the heart of the pupils the high values which deepen the faith in God, in their religion, their homeland, their Arabic nation and the whole humanity, by pushing them to the good works and to the "manners". These books contain all of numerous texts pulled by the Koran and by the numerous narratives of the prophet Mahomet. In a general way, the books of religion and Arabic show of a certain xenophobia, even a racism, and have appeals to words for non-believers, kafirs, moushriks, etc. The textbooks of Christian religion make no reference to the Moslem religion, either to the Koran, or to Mahomet or to the Muslims, but references are made for the Bible as sacred book of the Christians. Nevertheless, the Christian pupil has to learn all the same and recite formulae and understand purely Islamic notions which tend to demonstrate that the Islam is the only real religion.
There are numerous private schools in Egypt. These private and paying schools enjoy generally a big reputation, because the quality of their education is considered as better; moreover, they are more and more popular. We teach it, besides Arabic, either English, or French, that is German; there are some rare schools intended for the Greek and Armenian minorities. Thanks to the support of the Egyptian sovereigns, catholic religious congregations based, between 1860 and 1910, several schools loaded with the education in French of the easy families. We count more than about forty today. These establishments are an integral part of the Egyptian educational system. The specificity of these schools likes the wide place which is granted to the languages teaching, in particular in French which is taught it during all the schooling, because of 10 hours a week.
Finally, the Egyptian educational system seems to know grave problems at every level, the primary sector (primary school, Primary) up to the university. These problems are mainly owed to the lack of financial resources and to the overcrowded classes (often counting up to 80 pupils). In the rural regions, schools miss premises. It is not surprising to notice that the rate of illiteracy is very high, especially except urban areas, then 45 % of the Egyptian population does not know how to either read or write.