After a two-year delay, Egypt's new Japanese schools are now open for student registration for the academic year 2018-19, the Ministry of Education announced yesterday.
The ministry's spokesman, Ahmed Khairy, told MENA state news agency that the schools' registration will be available through an online application on the ministry's website, adding that the move aimed at "ensuring neutrality and equal opportunities between applicants."
The project, Khairy added, aims to provide a "distinguished education system" that focuses on enhancing the child's personality rather than the scientific and educational content. "The schools' newly-designed curriculum will offer a special system which is meant to improve the students' cognitive and behavioural skills while encouraging innovation and creativity."
The Egyptian official pointed out that the schools' fees are expected to be approximately 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($555). The schools will be built in 22 governorates across Egypt.
According to an earlier announcement by the ministry, 45 Japanese schools will open in September, with aim of building a total of 200 across the country.
The government-initiated project had been suspended for almost two years due to the lack of completion of the necessary administrative facilities, according to an earlier statement by the Egyptian Cabinet-run Information and Decision Support Centre.
In October, the Egyptian Minister of Education, Tarek Shawki, said that the project was postponed "indefinitely" after some 30,000 applications were received on the ministry's website.
Egypt signed a $175.7 million concessional financing agreement with Japan in February, under an "Egypt-Japan Education Partnership Programme" which aims to support and establish the Japanese schools as part of the country's nation-wide education reform project. Under the agreement, Japan will provide the necessary technical support for the project.
Egypt is the ninth largest recipient of Japanese aid in the world and the largest in the Middle East, according to official data.