Education and Schools in Egypt
- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Egypt Guide (PDF)
Education in Egypt is divided into secular and Islamic options. Within secular education there are public, private and international schools. Islamic education teaches traditional school subjects but adds Islamic and Quran studies to the curriculum.
Egypt has the largest education system in Africa and the government has been working to improve the standard of schooling available to Egyptians. However, public schools in Egypt are still of a low standard and expats are unlikely to consider them. Luckily, there are many good international school options across the country, particularly in Cairo and Alexandria.
Public schools in Egypt
Public education in Egypt is structured similarly to most Western education systems. Children start kindergarten at age four, move to primary school at age six and then start high school when they are 15 years old. Public education is free for all children.
There are two types of public schools in Egypt. Arabic schools teach the Egyptian national curriculum in the Arabic language, while experimental language schools teach primarily in English with a second language added in preparatory school.
As mentioned above, the education provided by public schools in Egypt will probably not be up to the standards expats desire for their children, and most will opt for private or international schools instead.
Private and international schools in Egypt
There are four types of private schools in Egypt. The first are “ordinary” schools, which follow a curriculum similar to that taught at public schools. However, these schools tend to have better facilities and teachers, so children will get a better education here than at a public school.
The second type of private school in Egypt is language schools. They teach in English and add a second language such as German or French. These schools can be expensive, but children will get a good education and learn another language.
Thirdly, there are religious schools that base their curriculum on a certain religion such as Catholicism.
The fourth type of private school is international schools which provide education in a variety of languages based on various national curricula. Most international schools use the British, American or International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, but there are also French and Canadian schools available. International schools in Egypt are expensive but children have the advantage of being taught a Western curriculum in their mother tongue or in English.