The Child's University Program - File photo
CAIRO – 30 October 2017: The criticism and complaints about the deterioration of the Egyptian educational system gave rise to initiatives aiming to develop the methods of education and enhance children's abilities, encouraging their innovation; these initiatives have ranged from Japanese schools to A Child’s University.
The idea of “A Child’s University” is spreading all over the world. The initiative enables school students from 9-15 years old to experience universities’ communities by meeting university professors, being trained in laboratories and becoming exposed to universities’ qualifications.
The Child's University Program
The project is an implementation of the "Scientists Children for a Better Future" initiative, and is funded by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in cooperation with the Egyptian universities.
According to the president of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Mahmoud Saqr, A Child’s University project is part of the programs adopted by the Ministry of Higher Education, supporting young people and innovators of different ages. Minister of High Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced that LE 30 million ($1.7 million) will be spent on scientific visits and the activation of A Child’s University project.
A Child’s University aims to discover talents at an early age and guide the gifted kids to the right track. The program includes a number of faculties like: Faculty of Medicine, Agriculture, Science, Arts, Education and Computer Sciences, so that each child is able to choose a faculty matching his or her own interests and capabilities.
At the end of the program, each child has to work on a scientific research and the winning child from each faculty will receive a credited certificate as well as a financial prize.
Also, top students will be offered the opportunity to visit International Child Universities around the world such as those hosted by the University of Manchester in England.
The project’s manager, Gena el-Feky, said that 27 Egyptian universities participated in the program, aiming to develop what children have already studied in schools, stressing on providing the experimental opportunities in the laboratories as schools’ education lacks practicalities.
Feky added that the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology has designed simplified courses for kids, in addition to training university professors on how to deal with children.
Children's experiments in universities' laboratories- The Child's University Program
Former President of Cairo University, Gaber Nassar, said that children fear scientific subjects because they are not well acquainted with them during the basic stages of education, which drives children to choose colleges that may not suit their true skills.
This explains why the number of secondary students enrolled in schools of humanities are more than those in the schools of sciences.
The program will help children decide which colleges they wish to apply to after being exposed to various fields like: history, arts, drama, archeology, energy, biodiversity and health.
Field Visits in Child's University Program
The Child's University Program
Nassar also expressed his wish to develop the project from a mere program that is affiliated to Egyptian universities, to an independent scientific entity that works on discovering future scientists.
The President of Port Said University, Shams al-Din Shaheen, stressed that there is no mediation in the selection of children and that every child can apply through the official website of the university, pointing out that the target of the project is to shed light on young geniuses, who can benefit society in the future.