Since 1985, Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) has implemented U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs to benefit the Egyptian people. These programs were agreed to by the governments of Egypt and the United States, and RTI worked in close collaboration with the Egyptian government to ensure success.
Unfortunately, despite this agreement and collaboration, RTI has been unable to secure approval from the Egyptian government to continue operating in Egypt. As a result, we have no choice but to end our local presence and close our projects. As we do so, we reflect on the outstanding partnerships that have enabled our work in Egypt and the important successes our projects have accomplished.
RTI’s recent work in Egypt has been under the Basic Education Assistance Agreement in place between the United States and Egyptian governments, primarily on early grade reading programs and decentralized education policy reforms. Through the years we enjoyed strong working relationships with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Higher Education, providing those ministries with technical assistance and expert advice. Our work has been instrumental in strengthening early grade reading methods and materials in Egypt. Under the earlier Girls’ Improved Learning Outcomes (GILO) project, the Early Grade Reading Program (EGRP) was taken to national scale by the MOE. It is recognized regionally and worldwide as pioneering. In 2015, we began a new primary project, the United States-Egypt Primary Learning Program (PLP), and had already achieved a number of important outcomes. Our impact on primary learning, including both GILO and PLP successes, shows the importance of these projects to Egypt’s primary education system:
National Student Level Impact
- 5.9 million learners benefited from EGRP after GILO and PLP trained Master Trainers
- 83,000 teachers completed in-service training on Reading and Math in all 27 governorates
- 5,765 administrators and officials were trained on early grade Reading and Math instruction
Student Assessment Achievements
- Two standardized learning assessments were developed and implemented for the national Grades 2 & 3 Reading (EGRA) and Math (EGMA)
- Five national assessments were conducted with the MOE since 2009 on early grade learning
- Test results were used by the MOE for ongoing curriculum and materials improvement
- Classroom observations were also conducted as part of EGRA and EGMA data collection
Ministry of Education Partnership Accomplishments
- Designed and implemented with MOE a professional development program for G1–G3 Arabic and G1 Math teachers
- Developed and certified by the MOE Professional Academy of Teachers (PAT) Master Trainers for Reading and Math in all 27 governorates and teacher training modules used for certification and promotion
- Analyzed and drafted formal certification process for MOE teacher training cadre law
- Drafted guidelines and regulations to strengthen the roles and responsibilities of the early grade learning department
In 2015, RTI also proudly worked as implementer for the Higher Education Partnership Program (HEPP) to facilitate partnerships between Egyptian and U.S. higher education institutions (HEIs). This program was aimed to enhance higher education and align research with industry needs among HEIs and Egyptian and U.S. businesses in order to contribute to Egypt’s human capital and economic growth goals. HEPP was an important part of the larger U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.
Early accomplishments of HEPP include:
- Facilitating over 100 consultative meetings with the private sector to forge partnerships and understand their skills and research needs. These series of consultations with industry partners resulted in meaningful commitments on the part of the private sector to collaborate on HEPP. Twenty industries committed to enter into partnerships with U.S. and Egyptian universities.
- Developing a comprehensive process for identifying and issuing approximately $40 million USD in grants, most of which would have gone directly to Egyptian HEIs.
RTI is proud of our longstanding partnership with USAID and exceedingly proud of our work in Egypt. Our work has enhanced children’s education in every Grade 1-3 classroom and built local capacity to decentralize and deliver key education services through our valued partnership with the MOE. Our work in higher education has laid a foundation of collaboration and skills-building while strengthening the global competitiveness of the Egyptian private sector.
RTI remains committed to excellence in our international development work around the world, and we hope one day to be able to return to Egypt and make a difference again to improve the lives of the Egyptian people.