By Dipo Olowookere
Ninety-three teachers from Luxor technical secondary schools have successfully completed a 4-week training program on entrepreneurship education, organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education and Technical Education.
The training program is part of UNIDO’s IMKAN project for youth employability and entrepreneurship in Upper Egypt, which is funded by the Government of Japan.
The intensive program, which was conducted in Luxor and Cairo, was held with the objective of training the teachers on how to integrate entrepreneurial skills within the subjects they teach, through UNIDO’s Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme (ECP). These entrepreneurial skills taught to the teachers, which in turn will be carried on to their students, do not only include the skills needed to start and manage a business but also involve other skills of equal if not greater importance such as communications, leadership, creativity, problem-solving, risk management and working in groups.
“One of the most valuable lessons we learned during the training is the importance of encouraging the students to find creative solutions to problems on their own initiative, rather than tell them the solutions ourselves,” said Mr Mahmoud Hussein, teacher at the Armant Secondary Agricultural School in Luxor.
UNIDO’s ECP has been implemented in 11 countries and taught to over 1 million students worldwide and in Egypt the ECP has been introduced in Qena during the school year 2014/2015, where over 100 teachers and 2,000 students received entrepreneurship education. During this coming round in 2017, the ECP will be introduced on a pilot basis in Luxor in 26 technical secondary starting on the last week of February.
“It was such a pleasure to see how engaged the teachers are and how passionate they are about acquiring the entrepreneurial skills, which they could teach to their students,” said Mr Frank Hennessey, UNIDO entrepreneurship education expert.
“The goal of the Ministry is to facilitate and ease the students’ transition from school to the labour market and one of the most important avenues for that, given the drop in tourism in Luxor, is entrepreneurship and that is why we see that working closely with UNIDO’s IMKAN project is very important,” added Mr Mohamed Mustafa, head of the Ministry’s school to work transition unit in Luxor.
Entrepreneurship education in schools is an essential pillar in developing and nurturing a positive entrepreneurial culture among the students, thus encouraging and inspiring them to think of ideas which could be transformed into businesses that would create opportunities for themselves and diversify the local economy.
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