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    Activating Cooperation Protocols between the Ministries of ICT and Education

    Cairo, 19 September 2012

    - Launching an online Community Industrial Technical Education portal to link education to labor market
    - Launching the experimental broadcast for the first digital online channel for Technical Education in Arabic
    - Unified digital dictionary for sign language to serve People With Disabilities (PWDs) nationwide

    During their extended meeting at MCIT premises, minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Hany Mahmoud and minister of Education, Dr. Ibrahim Ghoneim agreed on activating all cooperation agreements between the two ministries in the coming period.

    They also agreed to activate the role of ICT tools in developing the educational process throughout all its stages and spread the mutual cooperation between the two ministries to meet the students and teachersí needs.

    During the meeting, the implementation  of joint projects between Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Ministry of Education (MoE) have been reviewed.

    On top of these projects, the high-speed internet connection in schools, training programs with international IT companies, supporting the hearing and visually impaired pilot project, schools merger, human capacity development programs.

    This is in addition to the technical education development pilot project which aims at improving the competitive capabilities of ICT technical education graduates by adjusting the curriculum content besides working on technical skills development, according to the local, regional and international labor market needs.

    In this context, Mr. Hany Mahmoud announces the launch of the e- community portal of Industrial Technical Education:  www.ict4tes.com, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

    The portal promotes the continuous learning culture and linking education to labor market, as well as connecting technical education graduates, enabling databases access of technical training centers in companies and factories, in addition to textbooks digital library.

    Moreover, the two ministers announce the launch of experimental broadcasting for the first digital channel for online Technical Education in Arabic:  http://www.youtube.com/user/mediaboxism.

    About 4,000 users have visited the portal on the first day of its launch.  Launching this channel is for the  benefit of all students and teachers in technical schools of  specialized technical programs all over Egypt.

    Future cooperation plans between the two ministries are also reviewed in the meeting. The plans cover fields such as Internet broadband projects, tablet computers, cloud computing, curriculum content development, technical education development, and consideration for people with special needs and other projects that serve all educational process parties in Egypt and improve its services.

    Dr. Ibrahim Ghoneim reviews MoEís future plans. He displays the Ministryís implementation to a number of projects such as: establishing a national authority for Technical Education, full geographical mapping of schools in Egypt and activation of their role in the community through providing services by opening such secured schools after the official working hours.

    In this regard,  both ministers assign the work teams in each ministry to prepare cooperation protocols that include operational phases, schedules for the completion of the proposed projects.

    The previous period has witnessed the completion of advanced stages of joint projects between MCIT and MoE, for instance in the education development project using ICT, the smart schools model implemented in 91 experimental schools and 2000 public preparatory schools.

    Moreover, about 359 schools in Luxor, Fayoum, Giza and Cairo have been reformed and 1,500 schools were connected with high-speed Internet.

    In the framework of supporting and empowering people with disabilities, MCIT in collaboration with MoE work on reforming special schools on the technology level.

    The project aims at rehabilitating such schools in order to promote learning for visually impaired children in 26 special education schools nationwide, so as to accommodate them in the learning process by providing better educational services through activating and integrating ICT tools.

    Both ministries cooperate to implement the update of unified Sign Language Dictionary project to help PWDs. 

    The project targets unifying the communication language among the hearing impaired people in Egypt, by converting written dictionary texts to electronic digital texts and makes them available in the form of CDs and electronically on MCITís website to facilitate the hearing impaired or others access to it. This is to facilitate communication amongst PWDs and with others.

    As a matter of fact, there is a difference in sign language as per geographic variation, educational and community settings.

    The Ministry of Education is currently documenting the dictionary through a joint committee with MCIT officials, hearing disabilities experts and some of the hearing disabled people themselves to manage produce the dictionary at its best.

    Furthermore, MCIT is about to complete the education merger project in 35 schools in Fayoum, Beni Suef and Aswan governorates.  It is expected to proceed with the project implementation in mid-October 2012. 

    Currently, supporting the rehabilitation of 99 schools for deaf and dumb nationwide is being studied, as well as supporting the reform of private rehabilitation centers in 19 public universities.

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