The Educate Me Foundation held a ceremony to celebrate the graduation of the first class from its community school in Talbiyah, Giza. The graduation ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Social Solidarity, several partners and donors, and officials from the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, including Dr. Randa Shaheen, head of the public education division, and Hala Abdel Salam, Head of Basic Education and Special Education in the ministry. The ceremony was held at Nile University, in support of Educate Me’s mission.
The Educate Me community school offers students the governmental primary school certificate following a skills-based, learner-centered educational model that focuses on the students’ comprehensive development. The school is located in the outskirts of the under-resourced Talbiyah neighborhood, in Giza, serving 400 underprivileged students. The school also runs a nursery that serves children aged between 4 and 6, applying the same learner-centered model the foundation has developed.
During the graduation ceremony, Educate Me revealed its plan in the next 5 years, including scaling its provision in 4 to 5 community schools across Egypt, aiming to build 15000 teachers’ capacities in 500 schools, across 10 governorates by 2025. Educate Me also aims to build a strong and prominent central research unit, while continuing to support the national education strategies and practices.
“This ceremony caps years of hard work. The idea sparked back in 2010, and after 10 years, we can celebrate the success we have achieved in changing the concept of education in Egypt through an advanced, skills-based, learner-centered educational model that aims to promote a culture of self-actualization and lifelong learning.’’ Commented Christine Safwat, Executive Director of Educate Me Foundation. ‘’We are proud of the milestones we have achieved since the establishment of the Educate Me Foundation and the community school including the attendance of 431 students, and the outstanding performance of 6139 teachers through our training programs,” added Christine.
The Educate Me foundation built an educational model based on four main pillars, the first is comprehensive, student-centered curricula that integrate international standards with national curricula, the second is building and developing teachers’ capacities, the third is parental and community participation in school management and alumni programs for older school graduates, and the fourth pillar is maintaining a safe educational environment.
Through the years, the Educate Me foundation has received many regional and global awards, including the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for outstanding practices and performance for developing teachers’ efficiency in 2020, the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Achievement and Creativity in 2013, and the International Child Film Festival Award (for a cartoon movie made by 10 children). In 2012, in addition to the Ashoka Innovation Network Challenge Award, Pioneers of Egypt Award, and many others. The foundation was also accredited by Pearson International to ensure consistent standards across multiple programs and delivery locations and several trainers and facilitators.
The idea behind the establishment of the Educate Me Foundation sparked in June 2010, when Yasmin Helal, the Co-founder of Educate Me, met a man on the streets of Cairo who had taken his 3 daughters out of school because he couldn’t afford their tuition fees and school expenses. This incident inspired Yasmin to start the Educate Me initiative to reinstate school dropouts from the under-resourced area of Talbiyah, Giza. Before the end of the year, her initiative successfully reinstated 135 children in schools.
Yasmin was later joined by 2 entrepreneurs, Mohamed El Haw and Amr El Salanekly, as well as a group of volunteers to develop a skills-based learner-centered education model and register Educate Me as a non-profit foundation in the ministry of social solidarity. In 2013, Educate Me established a learning center in Talbiyah.
In 2015, the Educate Me learning center was turned into a government-certified community primary school. Also in 2015, the foundation established a professional development entity to train educators across public schools.
In 2016, Educate Me started providing education consultancy services to different NGOs and entities. In 2019, Educate Me signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education to enable the foundation to expand providing its programs in public schools.
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