Egypt and China have signed earlier this week an agreement to teach Chinese as an optional second language in Egyptian schools. Representing the Egyptian side was Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki, whereas Chinese Ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang represented the Chinese side.
The agreement was signed between the Egyptian Ministry of Education and the Chinese Confucius Institute. It involves sending experts and volunteers to Egypt to teach Chinese language and train Egyptian teachers on modern methods of teaching it as a foreign language.
During the signing ceremony which was attended by Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat, as well as Egyptian and Chinese officials and education experts, Dr Shawki evoked the time-honoured Egyptian Chinese ties. He highlighted the keenness of Egypt to benefit from the “unique and inspiring” Chinese experience in development in general and economic development in specific.
The Chinese Ambassador expressed his appreciation of the fruitful cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Education. He commended the Egyptian education reform programme that is currently being implemented. Mr Liqiang confirmed that the Chinese Embassy in Egypt is ready to offer the Egyptian Ministry of Education all needed support in its reform plan.
For her part, Dr Mashat reminded that Egyptian Chinese diplomatic relations go back 64 years; and have extended to economic, political, cultural and scientific domains. She explained that together with the Chinese side, the Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to boost bilateral ties in order to uphold the agenda of national development and the objectives of sustainable development. Dr Mashaat talked of the Chinese contribution in Egyptian infrastructure projects in many fields including transport, housing, education, scientific research, technology and outer space, let alone the recent cooperation in the health field to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
The portfolio of cooperation with China, Dr Mashat said, amounts to USD1.835 billion, including USD335 million of grants in the fields of higher education, scientific research, technical education, technology and outer space.
In 1997, an agreement was signed between Egypt and China to mutually recognise academic degrees granted by each of them.
10 September 2020