News.5

New School in the Desert

On SEKEM’s desert farm in Wahat El-Baharreyya, far from Egypt’s urban centers, a new school is being constructed in the middle of sand and desert. Currently, 6 pre-schoolers and 24 school children from grades 1 to 6 are being taught in provisional classrooms. Through the spatial expansion of the school, around 60 children shall have the opportunity to attend the comprehensive school in the upcoming school year. The educational concept is strongly influenced by SEKEM’s holistic approach and the experiences of the past decades in the educational institutions on the SEKEM mother farm.

Egypt’s public education system faces many challenges. Often, many public schools lack trained teachers as well as sufficient room capacity. Moreover, for children from rural areas the way to school is often very long.

The SEKEM Wahat School is therefore aimed primarily at children from the surrounding villages. In addition to traditional learning methods, innovative pedagogical approaches form an important part of the learning program. The focus is on developing the individual potential of the students. For example, the curriculum includes subjects such as music, eurythmy and sculpture, in which artistic and manual work is encouraged. The farm offers further alternative learning spaces for the students in which their interest in sustainability shall be awakened. The new school building is also being constructed using purely sustainable materials. The basic building material is rammed earth, an environmentally friendly building material that ensures energy efficiency. Furthermore, the sustainable construction of the school is complemented by the use of renewable energies, especially solar energy. A new sports field will provide fun and physical exercise.

Further greening of the facility will provide children with ample shaded areas in the schoolyard during the hot summer. Additionally, a cafeteria with an integrated kitchen as well as a craft room are being planned. The SEKEM school in Wahat El-Baharreyya benefits from the already proven holistic school model of the SEKEM school near Bilbeis, which was founded in 1989 and has been providing individual support to about 300 children annually for over 30 years.

In order to meet the growing demands and challenges of the new school, SEKEM is looking in particular for teachers from abroad who are familiar with the Waldorf education concept. The SEKEM Friends Germany provide support and are happy to receive inquiries from interested parties as well as support through donations