What options do I have to send my child to school in Egypt?

Your child can attend school through the formal education system which includes public schools, private and international schools supervised by the Ministry of Education.
Public education is currently available to Sudanese, South Sudanese, Yemeni and Syrian refugees on equal footing to Egyptians and UNHCR is working with the government to mainstream other refugee nationalities as well.

How is the Egyptian education system structured?

The Egyptian education system is divided into:

  1. Early Childhood Education
  2. Primary education (from Primary 1 to Primary 6)
  3. Preparatory education (from Prep 1 to Prep 3)
  4. Secondary education (Secondary 1 to Secondary 3) which is divided into two categories:
    – General, which is three years of study
    – Technical, which ranges from 3 to 5 years of study.

Students who have successfully passed Secondary 3 tests can graduate and obtain the Egyptian school leaving certificate (Thanawiyya Amma).

Who should I approach in order to enroll my child in a school in Egypt?

You should approach the Student Affairs office of the Educational Administrative Zone in your area of residence.

What documents do I need to bring?

  • A valid residence permit
  • A previously recognized school certificate from the school your child attended before arriving to Egypt.

If you do not have any, your child must take the result of placement test, carried out by the Ministry of Education.

What are the placement tests?

Placement tests are short exams which students who received education outside Egypt need to sit order to determine the grade they will be enrolled in in the formal Egyptian school system.

Students should approach the Student Affairs and Examinations Section at the Educational Administrative Zone (Idara Ta’alemeyya) in their area of residence with a valid residence permit. The department will arrange for the placement tests.

The placement tests are free of charge.

Successful Students, who pass the exam, receive a “Wafedeen” Letter stating the child’s specific age in order to submit it to the school. This letter helps children in school enrollments.

How do I know whether the school certificate that my child holds will be recognized by the school?

A school certificate of previous education needs to be no older than two years. It needs to be submitted to the education authorities and they will determine whether it is considered equivalent to the Egyptian school certificates or not.

What do I do if I face difficulties enrolling my children in schools, because I do not hold a residency permit?

Persons registered with UNHCR who are not able to enroll their children in schools due to the lack of any of the following: residency permit, asylum seeker card (yellow card), or passports should:

  1. Get a stamped letter from the school confirming that there is a place for the student.
  2. With this letter, go to the educational department and have it stamped.
  3. Proceed to the Passport and Immigration administration in Abbasiya, Cairo. There, you will get a number indicating when you can expect to get the residency.
  4. With this number, prepare a copy of your UNHCR registration card and a copy of the letter given by the school and approach the ministry to get an exception until the residency is granted.

To avoid delay in the enrolment procedures for your child, please complete the residency procedures as soon as possible.

What is the case for students who have never received any education before?

Up until nine years of age, the child can be enrolled in first primary grade of public or private schools, depending on their nationality. If the student is above nine, they will have to enroll in one course of adult education prior to enrolment in school. After successfully completing the adult education course and obtaining the Adult Literacy Certificate, the student will then directly be enrolled in the first preparatory year through the homeschooling (manazel) system.

The student continues to study through the home-schooling system, unless their age allows for their regular attendance at school. In this case, the student will be enrolled in a public school based on the availability of places.

How can a student register through the home schooling system?

The student should approach the Student Affairs Department at the educational zone in their area of residence with the following documents:

  • Their last educational certificate or proof of passing it.
  • UNHCR documentation.
  • Two personal photos.

The department will refer them to the school nearest to their home, where they will be registered, but study from home and take the mid and final-year exams at school.

Does UNHCR provide any financial support for education?

Yes, UNHCR provides education grants for school-age asylum-seekers and refugees who are enrolled in public, private, and community schools in Egypt through its partner, Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Based on certain criteria set by UNHCR and announced in June of each year, you might qualify for education grants.

What support is available for children with special needs in Egypt?

UNHCR offers support for children with special needs through its implementing partner CRS, which provides counselling to assess the needs of the child, and -if needed may provide additional support such as finding them a suitable school or additional education grants.

How do I apply to University in Egypt?

Post-Secondary and Tertiary education start at the age of 18. In Egypt, this education is currently accessible to Syrian, Yemeni and Sudanese refugees.

The Ministry of Higher Education sets the exceptions to university fees depending on nationality and type of High school diploma. Exceptions are annually renewed.

Does UNHCR provide financial support for university education?

No, UNHCR does not provide any grants for university education. However, the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative Fund (DAFI) supports students enrolled in public universities. Information about the programme is announced ahead of time when a new intake is taking place.

What is Coursera for refugees?

Coursera is a free online platform that comprises various courses (business, marketing, language, programming, etc.) delivered by prestigious universities and other educational institutions around the world. A certificate is provided upon completion of any course. Coursera for Refugees | Transforming Lives Through Learning.

Who can apply?

  • Refugees, asylum seekers, and Egyptian youth who have an email address and minimal internet connection.
  • Refugees, asylum seekers, and Egyptians who can register and fill the application (link below) and have access to our community Learning Centers in Maadi and Nasr City.

We are currently opening this call for only 200 refugees, asylum seekers, and Egyptians youth between the age of 18-35 years old, on a first come first serve basis.

Can courses be taken in other languages than English?

Courses can be subtitled to Arabic; however, exams and most courses are being taught in English.

Do refugees need access to internet to access the courses?

  • Internet is required only to download the course: once you have it downloaded; you can complete it offline. Since there is a Coursera app, cell phone or tablets are enough to attend, laptops are not required.
  • Also, you can access the learning resources through UNHCR/TDH community learning centers in Maadi and Nasr City if you are selected.

How can I enroll?

Fill the application form in the below link, and you will receive a call back from us if you are selected:

Contact Numbers in case you have any questions:
Community Learning Center in Maadi: 01028411101
Community Learning Center in Nasr City: 01033680393