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Will the government move towards issuing licenses for foreign teachers to work in Egypt?

The Teachers Syndicate put forward a proposal to require foreign educators to have a practise license before they can work for international schools.
14.05.24 | Source: Enterprise

Despite increasing operational costs weighing on international schools in Egypt, demand for foreign teachers remains high, with these educators seen by some schools as important for maintaining quality education and serving as a marketing tool. However, the employment of foreign teachers in Egypt has been criticized for its lack of regulation and the Education Ministry is currently evaluating proposals to better regulate the employment of foreign teachers in international schools.

Proposals to make sure foreign teachers are qualified: The proposals aim to verify foreign teachers’ qualifications, professional affiliations, and create a comprehensive registry of those employed. This initiative follows a suggestion from the Egyptian Teachers Syndicate calling for the issuing of licenses for foreign teachers practicing in the country.

A growing market: As of 2022, statistics from the Association of Private School Owners in Egypt indicate there are approximately 57 international schools operating alongside roughly 7k private schools nationwide.

The Teachers Syndicate’s pitch: The Egyptian Teachers Syndicate presented a proposal calling for the implementation of teaching licenses, syndicate head Khalaf Al Zanati told Enterprise. Under this system, neither international schools nor foreign teachers will be able operate without a license obtained through the syndicate. License fees collected would be directed towards improving the profession through salary increases, professional development initiatives, and educational infrastructure upgrades.

Regulation can improve education: Al Zanati stressed that no profession in Egypt is legally practiced without a license and added that incorporating teachers into the formal system would strengthen the sector.

The Education Ministry already keeps track of foreign teachers: Sources within the Education Ministry confirmed to Enterprise that the department overseeing international education monitors the activities of these schools and that updated lists of foreign teachers are received whenever there are personnel changes. However, the sources did not confirm the existence of a comprehensive registry for foreign teachers working in Egyptian schools.

Some think the focus should instead be on private tutoring and language institutes: Sources within the sector who spoke with Enterprise pointed out that the real challenge lies not within international schools — that often require recruits to have a degree in education or recognised education qualification — but from private tutoring centers and language institutes. These entities often employ individuals with residency permits and embassy affiliations, but lack proper teaching qualifications. This part of the sector is also lightly monitored as "we do not have a comprehensive registry of freelance teachers in private tutoring centers, whether Egyptian or foreign," Al Zanati told Enterprise.