“To empower a new generation; to transform the Egyptian community inside out,” is the theme title of an initiative launched by the Education Ministry in collaboration with Wellspring Foundation and Vodafon Egypt Foundation. The initiative aims at implanting morals and humanitarian principles among youngsters in underprivileged neighbourhoods through sports, providing thus a platform for active interaction, cooperation, and competition.
The initiative has been launched through a joint cooperation protocol signed by Education Minister Tarek Shawki; Wellspring Chairman Khaled Fawzy; and Muhammad Yousry administrative head of Vodafon Egypt Foundation for community development. Wellspring is a community service company dedicated to teaching, modelling, and equipping youth, families, and teachers in Egypt with moral values through camps, family development programmes, and leadership training.
Dr Shawki stressed the importance of early childhood training and teacher development. The protocol allows for reaching pupils of public primary schools in needy areas where, according to the Minister, physical education and sports days can work as an excellent learning experience, and work to actively root ethical principles. “The initiative targets half-a-million boys and girls of primary school age, and the training of 300 physical education teachers on the use of sports in the learning experience.”
Mr Fawzy said that the concept of sports as a medium for instilling values and morals was first applied in Ezbet Khairallah, north of Cairo, through the participation of 6,000 children. “In 2016,” he said, “We organised three sports days for pupils in public schools in the Upper Egypt regions of Fayoum, Sohag, and Luxor.
“In one of these schools,” he said, “the children set up a fund to help a colleague, Sarah, who suffered bone problems that hindered her from active participation in sports. They encouraged her to do whatever she could.” It was a brilliant result of their grasp of the values of teamwork and leaving no one behind.
Dr Shawki, a strong advocate for education reform which he says will actively start in 2018, has repeatedly stressed the imperativeness of collaborating with NGOs and civil community organisations to enhance the quality of public education in Egypt.
10 October 2017