5 March 2018       Download

As part of its integrated approach to education, Qalaa Holdings’ subsidiary, the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) is awarding scholarships to 30 primary and kindergarten teachers to take part in the American University in Cairo’s “Teaching Early Learners”(CELE) program

The Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), Qalaa Holdings’ c.US$ 4.3 billion greenfield refinery in the Greater Cairo Area of Mostorod, announced today the recipients of its second annual round of “Mostakbaly” Teacher Scholarships in a ceremony attended by Dr. Reda Hegazy, Head of the General Education Sector at the Ministry of Education, and Dr.Adham Ramadan, the Dean of the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Graduate Studies Program. The highly successful scholarship program, which gives public school teachers from Mostorod, El Khesous, Shobra El Kheima and Matarreya the opportunity to receive high-level training in early-years education at the American University in Cairo, is now in its second year with a total of 60 beneficiaries thus far. The initiative began in 2017 as part of a broader program developed by ERC to address educational inequalities amongst students and improve the quality of education offered by public schools in its surrounding community.
The Mostakbaly teachers’ initiative grants 30 local kindergarten and primary school teachers the opportunity to enroll in AUC’s “Teaching Early Learners” (CELE) program, a professional educator diploma at the American University in Cairo designed specifically for teaching young children in the classroom, at home and within the community. The intensive one-year program focuses on achieving a qualitative improvement of skills by exposing teachers to the latest techniques in “early-years education” and includes specific modules in areas such as child development & learning theory, assessment of young learners, and technology and media for young learners. Performance is evaluated after the conclusion of the program to ensure that teachers are applying what they have learned.
“What is unique about our approach is that we aim to tackle the issue of education from all angles with a holistic view that includes providing graduate scholarships through our Foundation (QHSF) as well as undergraduate scholarships and training for students and teachers, refurbishing infrastructure at public schools in the community, and providing technical and vocational training through the various initiatives that our subsidiaries like ERC are undertaking,” said Ahmed Heikal, ERC Chairman and, Qalaa Chairman and Founder. “It is our hope that all of these comprehensive initiatives targeting Egyptian youth will eventually help to bridge the skills gap which is currently one of the biggest problems that we face as a nation,” he added.
Four months ago, in November 2017, the Mostakbaly Students Scholarship Program awarded 22 students with full scholarships to study at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Ain Shams University, Zewail University, Nile University and the American University in Cairo (AUC) bringing the total number of student scholarship recipients up to 28. Both scholarship programs (Teachers and Students) were the outcome of a thorough needs assessment that was undertaken by ERC in cooperation with the local community and community development associations in Mostorod.
Mostakbaly also offers outstanding scholars from the community the opportunity to pursue post-graduate studies at Universities abroad provided they return to Egypt after the completion of their studies to serve as role models for others in their community. Mostakbaly’s first post-graduate scholarship which was awarded to a student who is studying Health Economics at the University of Sheffield in the UK was announced in June 2017 as part of the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation’s (QHSF) 11th annual awards ceremony.
“Teachers are selected for the scholarships based on their community service record and their ability to share and transfer their knowledge and experience to others. We are already starting to see tangible results from this program because those who have completed their certifications are now training others in their schools with the aim being to achieve maximum impact from the scholarships that we are awarding,” said ERC Managing Director, Dr. Mohamed Saad.
Mostakbaly is a part of ERC’s far-reaching sustainability initiatives. Since 2008 the company has been carrying out community needs assessments and stakeholder mapping in order to design strategic and culturally appropriate interventions through purpose-built community centers. ERC has been active on all fronts of the educational spectrum with programs in place for school refurbishments, teacher capacity building, women’s empowerment and support to youth entrepreneurs. Thus far they have upgraded facilities in a total of 3 schools and conducted partial maintenance on 37 additional schools and two local training centers benefiting a total of 36,000. Additional support for students has been given through the provision of school supplies, bags and uniforms for 3204 needy students.
In addition to Mostakbaly, ERC is also running two additional programs that provide support for women and youth in their community; Tamkeen provides both financial and non-financial support to help female entrepreneurs while Mashrou3ey is a youth empowerment program designed to support new and existing small projects developed by youth.
“We believe that that the only way to guarantee healthy sustainable growth and stability is to pursue responsible investments which has been the foundation of Qalaa’s investment theses. ERC is an excellent example of our approach, from the initial concept of a refinery that will produce import substitution products to the important community development initiatives that it has undertaken such as Mostakbaly, Mashrou3ey and Tamkeen,” said Ghada Hammouda, Qalaa’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We have always led by example and we encourage all our subsidiaries to do the same. We are extremely proud of these initiatives that ERC has taken on to support education in all its facets.”