Coptic Orphans Supports Egyptian Students’ Transition to Digital Learning
FAIRFAX, VA. – The Egyptian Ministry of Education is making deep changes in the COVID-19 era, and Coptic Orphans is responding by transforming how it serves the 12,000 fatherless children currently in its program.
“Coptic Orphans is committed to adapting to the huge changes taking place in the Egyptian educational system during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Nermien Riad, founder and executive director of Coptic Orphans, a Christian international development organization based in Fairfax, VA.
“To ensure the children we serve receive the best education possible, in light of these recent changes, we are taking steps to help every child transition to new, digital-based learning platforms,” said Riad, whose organization has served more than 65,000 fatherless children in some of Egypt’s most underserved and remote communities.
The ministry shut down all in-person learning during the spring COVID outbreak, transitioning to online learning to finish out the 2019-20 school year. As Egypt prepares for the 2020-21 school year in October, the ministry has extended the ban on transitional private lessons, as they are rolling out a new online platform that will handle all private lessons for the next three years. The ministry is also working with tech companies such as YouTube to host a variety of online curricula, parent-teacher conferences, e-book libraries and test prep courses.
“The Ministry of Education didn’t simply react to COVID-19; they used the crisis as a springboard to propel Egyptian education forward into the digital age,” said Hoda Gamal, international programs director at Coptic Orphans. “This is a crucial, necessary measure, and Coptic Orphans is prepared to work with the government to ensure that no child is left behind during this transitional period.”
During the lockdown, Coptic Orphans has prioritized securing internet access for the children in its program, so that they can continue their studies online. Moving forward, the organization will continue to focus on internet access, as well as on acquiring laptops for children who cannot afford computers. In addition, Coptic Orphans’ 550 Church-based, specially trained volunteer Representatives across Egypt will work to educate mothers on how to use the Ministry of Education’s planned cashless payment system for lessons. There will be two evaluation phases – one after each semester – as the organization conducts research and trains staff and volunteer Reps to meet the demands of e-learning.
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Coptic Orphans is an award-winning international Christian development organization that unlocks the God-given potential of vulnerable children in Egypt, and so equips them to break the cycle of poverty and become change-makers in their communities. Coptic Orphans works through grassroots partners and volunteer networks to strengthen local communities for sustainable impact. Since 1988, Coptic Orphans has transformed the lives of over 65,000 children in Egypt. To learn more, visit http://www.copticorphans.org.