By Katrin Masharqa
Komorebi Post– In Egypt, there are several types of schools; governmental public schools in Arabic and Experimental government school in English. Then the private schools are divided into two, ones are national school teaching English and Arabic governmental curriculum, and others are international schools teaching Arabic and English foreign curriculums. Dahab has a diverse local community of Bedouins, Egyptians from Cairo or Upper Egypt, Russians, Koreans, South Americans, British, German and others. The city is a touristic destination for diving, kitesurfing, and mountain climbing, many tourists decide to live in what become as is a coastal hipster village, full of sunshine and reliable wind all year round.
Culture diversity and educational choices
The Bedouin and Egyptians from Upper Egypt children are known to attend the public schools. Then the more affluent ones attend the Experimental Government Schools. Other Egyptians choose the national schools given the option for a stronger English curriculum. Foreigners of the community prefer to homeschool their children given their concern for the English level at the national school.
Carolina 39, from Brazil. A mom of two children in early elementary, decided the national school, in order to learn Arabic and English. She explains:
“We came here for free diving and we wanted our children to get the local experience, we found national schools to be the only formal easily accessible option since it does reflect Egyptian culture. At the same time, we are facing issues with the school being too conservative”
Nurseries in Dahab are mainly very diverse. The largest nursery in Dahab with an average of 25 children daily, provides a large play area, freshly cooked organic food, and storytelling and activities in Russian, English, and Arabic. Whereas, the Bedouin nursery is focused on bringing in volunteers from all the around the world to teach the Bedouin children of Dahab. More than often you find the Yoga instructors, encouraging donations and volunteering. There is a Montessori nursery which includes three days of activities in English and another two days of Arabic, children enjoy free play, interaction with Bedouin caretakers and weekly excursions to the beach, mountains, and local businesses.
Homeschooling is growing
There are weekly meetings for a group of parents,to discuss and plan an alternative educational space project. An educational system that is reflective of the local culture and environment and includes community service. Everyone involved would build the space together, cook, clean, meditate, recycle, dance, and freely learn.
Ghadir Ezzat, 35, one of the mothers is already translating this dream into reality. She organizes activity gathering at her place for seven children from ages 2 to 9 years old free of cost. They all worked together to make doughfrom natural ingredients. At the beginning of the activity they had a circle of love to practice breathing deeply and moving their bodies, then they distributed the tasks according to age and interest, and in the end everyone cleaned together.