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EXPERT GROUP MEETINGS

 

The Case for Decentralization as a Tool for Improving Quality in Pre-University Education in Egypt

Speaker(s): Group of Experts

Oct 2014

ECES held an expert group meeting on the research proposal entitled “The Case for Decentralization as a Tool for Improving Quality in Pre-University Education in Egypt,” by Professor Laila El-Baradei. The meeting was held on 2 October 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at ECES premises. The purpose of the event was to solicit expert opinion on the following education policy questions.  

  • To what extent decentralization in education can improve the quality of education (creative and critical thinking skills, quality of books and curricula, infrastructure in schools, and school governance, etc.)?
  • What are the forms of decentralization in education most appropriate for Egypt?
  • What role would decentralization give to the private sector and civil society?

Background:

Despite the general consensus on the poor quality of education in Egypt, there is no public discourse on the roots of the problem. In addition, the poor quality of most of the state education system, and the widespread reliance on private tutoring to supplement it, also contribute to Egypt’s high level of economic inequality, raising concerns about social justice.

In order to trigger and shape public debate on basic education and to manifest society’s call for its reform, ECES is implementing a project that examines structural problems in Egypt's basic education system and provides high quality insight into the economic costs of its current state. The research results will be disseminated through high level roundtables and through both traditional and new social media channels.

One of the main shortcomings in our pre-university education system, its outputs and deliverables, is its high degree of centralization. Centralization and decentralization are best conceived as two opposite points on a continuum, where centralization refers to the concentration of power at the top level of the organization and decentralization refers to the extent decisions are taken at lower levels. The question usually is not whether to centralize or to decentralize, but rather the degree of going one way or the other.

Participants:

 

 

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Forced Private Tutoring in Egypt: Quality Education in a Deadlock between Low Income, Status and Motivation

Speaker(s): Group of Experts

Sep 2014

This expert group meeting discussed the research proposal entitled: "Forced Private Tutoring in Egypt: Quality Education in a Deadlock between Low Income, Status and Motivation," by Sebastian Ille. Specifically, the meeting discussed the following education policy questions:

  • What are the fundamental drivers of private tutoring?
  • What are the best applicable mechanisms to minimize forced private tutoring?
  • What are the possibilities and implications of engaging the private sector in a PPP to provide schooling services with decent quality and reasonable tuition fees  that replace private tutoring?


Background:
Despite the general consensus on the poor quality of education in Egypt, there is no public discourse on the roots of the problem. In addition, the poor quality of most of the state education system, and the widespread reliance on private tutoring to supplement it, also contribute to Egypt’s high level of economic inequality, raising concerns about social justice.

In order to trigger and shape the public debate on basic education and to manifest society’s demand for its reform, ECES is implementing a project that examines the structural problems in Egypt's basic education system and provide high quality insight into the economic costs of its current state. The research results will be disseminated through high level Roundtables and through both traditional and new social media outreach.

One major challenge in the education system is private tutoring. This phenomenon usually implies that a teacher deliberately reduces his teaching quality (i.e. effort in class) to force students to participate in his private classes. Private tutoring, on the other hand, is founded out of the student’s (or his parents’) motivation to improve his knowledge about the subject (mostly for competitive reasons). This has put additional financial strain on parents who send their children to a public school, and has put at a disadvantage the already unprivileged poor. It has further severely deteriorated public education because of a refusal of teachers to actively teach in school, creating a system of corruption amongst public schools in which it is not the student with the best abilities, who receives best grades, but the student, whose parents are willing to pay extra-money to their child’s teachers.

Participants:

  • Mr. Bruce Currie Alder, Regional Director, The International Development Research Centre
  • Dr. Hossam Badrawi, Chairman Business Sector Secretariat, NDP and Chairman, Nile Badrawi Foundation for Education & Development - Egyptian Education for Employment Foundation
  • Dr. Kadria Said, Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics (CAPMAS)
  • Ms. Lobna Al Gammal, Researcher
  • Dr. Sebastian Ille, Author
  • Mr. Sherif El Diwany, Executive Director, ECES
  • Dr. Omneia Helmy, Director of Research, ECES
  • Dr. Iman Al-Ayouty, Senior Economist, ECES
  • Mr. Tarek El Ghamrawy, Economist, ECES 
  • Mr. Yasser Selim, Managing Editor, ECES
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Energy Security in Egypt

Speaker(s): Groups of Experts

Sep 2014

This expert group meeting discussed the topic for the "Policy Review Article" being prepared by ECES. Specifically, the meeting discussed the following energy policy questions:

  • What are the fiscal implications of subsidy reform? Will the government continue at the current pace, and what is the foreseen time span for reforms?
  • What are the expected inflationary implications of the current subsidy removal program?
  • If supply of energy falls short of foreseen energy demand, how will this hinder growth?
  • How can we capture the cost of the current and foreseen energy mix on growth?

Participants: 

  • Dr. Bruno Carre (CEO and Managing Director of Suez Cement),
  • Dr. Tamer Abou Bakr (Head of the Committee on Energy, The Federation of Egyptian Industries,
  • Dr. Mohamed El-Sobki (Professor of Electric Power Systems - Cairo University / Director - Energy Research Center, Energy Advisor – Environics, Environment and Development Advisors),
  • Ms. Sarah Al-Nashar, Economist, World Bank Egypt,
  • Mr. Yasser Sherif (Managing Director, Environics, Environment and Development Advisors),
  • Mr. Ayman Korra (Chairman and CEO, Consukorra),
  • Ms. Amina Taha (PICO),
  • Mr. Mohamed Shoeib (Managing Director, Al-Qalaa Holdings)
  • Mr. Sherif El Diwany, Executive Director, ECES
  • Dr. Omneia Helmy, Director of Research, ECES
  • Dr. Iman Al-Ayouty, Senior Economist, ECES
  • Ms. Nadine Abdel Raouf, Research Analyst, ECES 

 

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A New IMF: A More Interactive Relationship

Speaker(s): Dr. Khaled Sakr, the International Monetary Fund

Nov 2010

This focus group meeting addressed the following questions: 1. Has the image of the IMF changed with the global crisis? 2. Is the IMF listening enough?  3. How can the IMF increase its engagement with opinion makers and the public? Also, Dr. Sakr, Advisor, External Relations Department, IMF, answered questions on how to improve access to information involving the IMF’s analysis on Egypt, the region and the global economy.

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