Cairo is a huge city, with a population of around 20 million inhabitants. While it may not be an expat hub per se, the expat community is expanding rapidly, despite less favourable circumstances. For more information on Cairo, such as where to live, what to do, what trips to take, and where to look for help, please have a look at our previous post: A brief but useful guide to Cairo for expats
Here is what you need to know about the expat school situation in Cairo:
In Cairo there are over 140 international schools teaching various international curricula, such as British, American, French, German and Canadian, to name the most popular. Such schools are in high demand with foreigners living in Cairo as well as Egyptians, who want the best education for their children and can afford the fees. The quality of their teaching varies, and many of them have little to no support for expat children. While they’re all striving for excellence, some of them might not have the qualified teaching staff you would expect, nor the international community their website pictures profess. They run under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education, which means that Arabic and Islamic studies become mandatory. These facts are being pointed out not as something derogatory, but as facts which parents need to be aware of and decide the right path for their children. Therefore, the first thing you need to remember is that ‘international’ is not synonymous with ‘expat’.
What is an expat school? They are international schools which cater specifically for expat children and the expat community, in general. There aren’t many with these characteristics in Cairo. They tend to be the most expensive (which is a big hurdle for many expat families), for many reasons, but especially because they have qualified and experienced academic staff moving from their respective countries to teach in this particular school. They have quality facilities and safety measures in place, at the same standards as ‘back home’. The community is truly international. One feels like at home and becomes quickly integrated because of their diversity. The management is committed to inclusion, diversity and implementing policies which cater to their students’ well-being. They have high academic standards which ensure academic progress and smooth transitions when moving countries.
With respect to covid-19, these schools have well established protocols for containing the spread of the virus on their premises, they have an upstanding crisis management plan and can switch to a solid online teaching platform, guaranteeing children’s teaching and learning in any circumstances.
How do we know which school is an expat school?
Following extensive research among expat parents around the world, we have identified parents’ expectations of an expat school, based on the following criteria: F (facilities) A (academics) M (management) E (expat support) D (digital learning) Here is a link for their detailed description: Assessments
When we visit any school, we don’t just go on a school tour, but we sit in classrooms and observe the teaching. We interview the management and analyse their policies and practices, and we enquire about their forms of expat support.
Would you like to know the top Expat Schools in Cairo, which guarantee all the characteristics mentioned above? Here they are: Got the right school?