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A Chinese-built school in Egypt becomes magnet for local parents

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-28 11:12

Photo taken on Dec 24, 2018 shows the Free Egypt Experimental School in Monufia Province, Egypt. An Egyptian school, built by the Chinese government as a gift, has been a popular attraction for local Egyptian parents when they make school choice for their children. [Photo/Xinhua]

MONUFIA, Egypt - An Egyptian school, built by the Chinese government as a gift, has been a popular attraction for local Egyptian parents when they make school choice for their children.

The Free Egypt Experimental School, also known as the Chinese School, is located in Monufia province, 65 km northwest of the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Established in 2009 and became fully operational in 2013, the Chinese School is one of the two schools built by the Chinese government under an educational aid program for Egypt. The other one was located in the October 6 City on the outskirts of Cairo.

"It is one of the best schools in Egypt without exaggeration. It's fully equipped with interactive smart board, laptops, iPad, electronic books," Zahran Mohamed, manger of the school, told Xinhua.

The school gate is open to a vast sport yards surrounded by semi-circle buildings. Built on a space of 9,000 square meters, the school boasts a theatre, a library and multimedia labs.

Mohamed praised the Chinese builders for building the school with a design that allows sunshine and fresh air into all the classrooms equally.

The school, which compromises 34 classes with a population of 1,300 students, has been very attractive among local Egyptian parents, who are in race to enroll their kids in the school that includes all classes from Kindergarten to high school, Mohamed said.

Despite its name and the builder, the school doesn't offer a Chinese language course, prompting the parents and school staff to call for help from China to teach Chinese as a second language at the school.

"How come a school that is well-known as a Chinese school teaches German and French languages while ignoring the language of the founders?" Mohamed asked.

While most of the governmental schools are highly crowded with students with nearly no spaces for activities, 60 percent of the Chinese School is turned into green land and sport courts, said Shadia Abdel Maqsoud, a history teacher at the school.

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