The president made his remarks while addressing the second edition of the Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research that is being held at the New Administrative Capital in Cairo.
The forum is being held in conjunction with the 14th session of the General Conference of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (ICESCO). The forum will run till Friday, while the General Conference of the ICESCO ends on Thursday.
Egypt is hosting the organisation’s general conference for the first time ever.
Hosting the current editions of the forum and the general conference of ICESCO “enhances and deepens Egypt’s significance in the Islamic world and the world in general in the fields of education, sciences, and culture,” Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said as he delivered the opening speech of the forum.
A number of ministers and key officials attended the forum, including Minister of Education Tarek Shawki, Minister of Planning Hala El-Said, and Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, along with Salim bin Mohammad Al-Malik, the director-general of ICESCO; Pope Tawadros II, the patriarch of the See of St. Mark and leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church; as well as the speakers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
During his speech, El-Sisi also vowed to provide free education opportunities for talents from the OIC countries in Egyptian universities.
“As a modest contribution from Egypt, we will offer 100 education opportunities free of charge for world talents in Egyptian universities, as we seek to [establish an international reputation for these institutions],” El-Sisi said.
“We can do more than that if our efforts are concerted to establish a fund worth billions of dollars to educate talents,” El-Sisi said.
The president said economic capabilities and other factors are required to provide true knowledge and quality education in OIC countries, urging the developed world to help these countries to provide quality education.
“You want to help us? Help us so we have true knowledge and education that is as available in your countries in accordance with your levels and standards,” El-Sisi said, claiming that good education is a human right.
The president affirmed that quality education enables youths to find job opportunities and chances of real participation in professional life.
The president also urged OIC countries to beware of “foolish” extremist thought that seeks to “destroy your future as it does to your present,” saying this thought has caused Islamic world countries to lose focus.
“Islam has nothing do with this rigid and extremist thought that aims to knock down peoples and destroy the present and the future in [our region],” El-Sisi added.
The president affirmed that OIC countries will “continue to fight for real knowledge and education.”
Egypt is serious and holds an “unrelenting will” to address challenges, including education, El-Sisi said, affirming that he “considers real education as the foundation to build nations.”
Over the past six years, Egypt has sought to build more universities and improve the quality of education by collaborating with international universities, the president added.
Earlier on Tuesday, El-Sisi said during a meeting with Hussein Ibrahim Taha, the secretary-general of the OIC, that the work of the OIC can benefit from Egypt’s prestigious Islamic institutions, which have credibility at the regional and international levels.
The president also stressed Egypt’s full support for Taha, who assumed the post on 17 November, in his mission, taking into consideration all the challenges facing the Islamic world at various levels.
The OIC is the second largest international organisation after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 countries in four continents.
Established in 1969, the organisation is considered the collective voice of the Muslim world, endeavouring to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among the various peoples of the world.