Aswan, Egypt, 18 May 2010 - The Continuing Education Center (CEC), an initiative of Om Habibeh Foundation (an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network), was inaugurated on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 in Aswan. This centre is unique to Upper Egypt in that its mandate is to provide new graduates with the skills necessary to be employed in the labour market. It also aims to provide practical employment-related training to the youth of Aswan and Upper Egypt with the ultimate goal of fostering economic development. The centre will also strive to enhance the skill set of employees in governmental and civil society organizations to help improve and strengthen their performance. CEP aims to offer programmes that meet international standards by using high-quality, industry-relevant content.
The centre has signed protocols of cooperation with the School of Continuing Education at the American University in Cairo (AUC) to teach courses in General English, English for Specific Purposes and Accounting and with Microsoft Egypt for Information Computer Technology. These courses will be delivered by trainers, recruited from Aswan, who have undergone intensive training. The former courses will be jointly certified by OHF and AUC and the latter (ICT) courses will be jointly certified by OHF and Microsoft Egypt. All CEP programmes will use curricula and teaching methods that encourage critical thinking and inquiry, and make the learning experience interactive, context-appropriate and hands-on.
Sixty-one applicants have enrolled in courses. The CEC facility, located in downtown Aswan, comprises of 440 square meters on two floors. The facility is made up of three language classrooms, two computer labs, a study lounge and a faculty training area equipped with 37 computers for use by trainees and faculty. The centre will accommodate 50 trainees at full occupancy.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by guests of honor Deputy Governor General Mohamed Mostafa Kamal, Dr. Charles Norman, the Dean of School of Continuing Education, The American University in Cairo, Ms. Ghada Khalifa, Head of CSR, Microsoft, among other key government officials from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Solidarity and representatives of local businesses.
In the next couple of years, the Om Habibeh Foundation proposes to offer courses for entrepreneurs as well as vocational training courses. CEP will work toward building partnerships with local industry to improve its understanding of local market needs and to provide job opportunities for trainees.