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Authors: Hartmann, Sarah
Title: The informal market of education in Egypt : private tutoring and its implications
Online publication date: 23-Apr-2008
Language: english
Abstract: Education is generally perceived as a public good which should be provided by the state. In Egypt, free and equal access to education has been guaranteed to all citizens since President Nasser’s socialist reforms in the 1950s. However, due to high population growth rates and a lack of financial resources, the public education system has been struggling to accommodate rapidly increasing numbers of students. While enrolment rates have risen steadily, the quality of state-provided services has deteriorated. Teachers and students have to cope with high class densities, insufficient facilities, a rigid syllabus and a centralized examination system. Today, teaching is among the lowest-paying occupations in the public sector. One strategy to cope with this situation is the widespread practice of private tutoring, which usually takes place at students’ homes or in commercial tutoring centers. Based on research carried out in Cairo in 2004/05 and 2006, I use an actor-centered approach to analyze the motivations of Egyptian teachers and students for participating in private tutoring and the impact that this practice has on the relationship between teachers and students. Students of all socio-economic backgrounds resort to tutoring in order to succeed in a highly competitive and exam-oriented education system. However, the form and quality of tutoring that can be accessed depends on the financial means of the family. For teachers, tutoring provides a good opportunity not only to supplement their income, but also, in the case of renowned “star teachers”, to improve their professional status and autonomy. On the informal “market of education” that has developed in Egypt during the last decades, the educational responsibilities of the state are increasingly being taken over by private actors, i.e. the process of teaching and learning is dissociated from the direct control of the state and from school as an institution. At the same time, education is turned into a marketable commodity. Despite the government’s efforts to provide free education to all citizens, the quality of social services that can be accessed in Egypt, thus, depends mainly on the financial means of the individual or the family.
DDC: 390 Bräuche
390 Customs
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 07 Geschichts- u. Kulturwissensch.
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-16189
Version: Original work
Publication type: Arbeitspapier
License: In Copyright
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Extent: 107 S.
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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