MTC Workforce Egypt Takes Egyptian Leaders on Technical Education Study Tour Through U.S.
MTC’s Workforce Egypt project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is striving to transform Egypt’s technical and vocational education and training system by producing the skills needed for a globally competitive Egyptian economy. What sets Workforce Egypt apart is its focus on strengthening and reforming Egypt’s technical education system using innovative approaches that foster sustainable partnerships with private sector companies, business associations, donor organizations, and non-governmental organizations, creating a more robust technical education ecosystem.
To assist in that effort, a Career and Technical Education (CTE)-focused study tour delegation recently came from Egypt to the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Utah areas to identify innovations and best practices in support of the International Applied Technology Schools (IATS), and learn a variety of ways CTE training opportunities are successfully being made available to youth and young adults.
The delegation consisted of the deputy minister for technical education and other officials of the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Technical Education, IATS school principals and executive supervisors, a USAID/Egypt contracting officer representative, and MTC’s Workforce Egypt project staff.
“[The] career and technical education track in the United States, somehow…it has its own characteristics,” says Mohamad Fawzy, deputy chief of party of the Egypt Workforce project. “And we feel like it can be localized to the Egyptian context, and this is why we wanted to study it further.”
Salem Helali is a Senior Technical Advisor for MTC’s Economic and Social Development Division. “Overall, the focus for both Washington, D.C. and Utah was to expose the team to the various ways technical education is offered to the youth here in the United States,” he says. “So, what we would like to see is, ‘How are we going to transfer some of these experiences, some of these systems, some of these ideas into our Workforce Egypt program?’”
The delegation met with Assistant Secretary of Education for Office of Career Technical and Adult Education Amy Loyd and toured community and technical colleges, high schools, and two Job Corps centers, examining a variety of programs and systems.
“Where we can see how the clusters work, how the pathways work, how the transfer of the credit hours to colleges and universities works, [helps] us revamp what we call in Egypt commercial education track,” says Mohamad. “We want to transfer some of the know-how, some of the knowledge, some of the skills, some of the way of the management of the high schools and the colleges in Utah, for our principals and private sector colleagues that [are] accompanying us.”
The delegation returned to Egypt with a much-widened knowledge base of CTE best practices, innovations in private sector partnerships, and career development, as well as gratitude toward those institutions that welcomed their study.
“We can’t be thankful enough to all of our host institutions who were incredibly collegial, very warm,” says Salem. “And at the same time, [we] have had some very open and candid discussions about the ever-changing world of Career and Technical Education, be it in the United States, in Egypt, or anywhere around the world.”