Our Market

Egypt has the largest student population in the MENA region, estimated at 23 million K-12 students in 2020 with Greater Cairo accounting for 20% (4.6 million) of the total number. The country’s student-age population constitutes 31% of the wider population, and a high birth rate is expected to further increase this share over the long run. Millions of children of school age enter the market for primary education each year, with strong demand forecast to persist well into the long term. For years, the public education spending has been unable to keep up with growth in the school-age population. However, the Government announced in 2021 the increase in the public spending on the education sector, with the constitution mandating that the minimum spending on education should not be less than 4% of the country’s GDP. According to Colliers, government expenditure on education is projected to reach EGP 424.0 billion in budget 2020/21 compared to EGP 73.1 billion in 2013/14, representing a 7-year CAGR of 28.5%.

2019 was considered to be the year of change for the education sector in Egypt as the government announced the major overhaul education programme “EDU 2.0”. Several initiatives were put into action, aimed at increasing the technology in classrooms and ultimately creating a shift in the way society views education in Egypt. Although, the sector has witnessed improvement in access to education, some challenges still persist, some of which include, overcrowded classrooms and a high student-to-teacher ratio. This has impacted both the quality of teaching and the overall learning experience for the student. With the underlying mission to enhance the country’s accessibility to high-quality education, CIRA’s students benefit from a pupil to teacher ratio of 11.4 at its K-12 segment in the 2020/21 academic year, compared to the latest available country averages of 23.7 for primary schools and 15.2 for secondary schools in 2018/19, according to the World Bank.

Egypt offers a wide range of class sizes which differs from private schools to public schools. While the private schools’ classrooms mainly contain 20-25 students, public school classrooms may reach a class size of 50 student per class. Overcrowded classrooms has forced schools, especially in Urban areas, to conduct double shifts. About 37% of students attend school for a full 7 hours per day, while the remaining 63% attend morning or evening shifts which last 4.5 hours. This has impacted the quality of education the student is able to get in such crowded classrooms, and led to a situation where pupils at overcrowded schools frequently make informal extra payments to their teachers for after-class tutoring services.

43% of Egypt’s population is under the age of 18, according to official statistics. With 13% of the under-18 cohort being under 4 years of age, already strong demand for education will receive a significant boost over the coming years, from the levels of pre-school to continuing education. The number of enrolled students in Egypt has been growing over the years to reach 23.3 million in 2019/20 compared to 19.3 million in 2014/15, representing a CAGR of 3.9%. The share of the private school students has doubled in the past five years at a CAGR of 6.3% compared to public school student growth of 3.6%, despite private school students only accounting for 10.6% of the total student population in Egypt. Given that Egypt’s population is growing at a rate of 2.5% per annum, the total demand for K-12 enrolment is expected to reach 34 million by 2030, generating an additional demand for new seats of 11 million, 2.1 million of which will be required for the private sector.

K-12 Student Enrollment

Academic Year No. Students (millions)

Schools in Egypt by Type | FY19/20

School Type No. K-12 Institutions (thousands)
Public Schools
Private Schools
Community Schools
International Schools

Enrollment Rates by Education Level | FY19/20

School Type Enrollment (%)

Class Density per Education Level| FY19/20

School Type Class Density (No. students/class)

For the past three years, the government has made notable progress in enhancing the education sector in Egypt with the introduction of EDU 2.0 in 2019 aiming to digitalize the school system. The spread of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of technological solutions as schools went online. To aid in overall digitization efforts, the government partnered with Promethean, edtech provider, to digitally enhance 26,000 classrooms across the country over 3 years starting 2019. The new technologically advanced classrooms are expected to help reduce the overcrowding of the classrooms and enhance the overall learning experience. CIRA’s teams can take pride in the speed and efficiency with which they have responded to these extraordinary circumstances: across CIRA’s schools and Badr University Cairo (BUC), full curricula were moved online within 72 hours of the activation of our distance learning protocol on 15 March, and since the lifting of restrictions the Group has implemented a hybrid learning model. Our teaching staff are fully equipped with the technology, training and tools required to deliver class material, ensure that touch points and learning objectives are met, and manage and monitor virtual attendance.

For the more than twenty thousand K12 students who attend our institutions at lower tuition price-points – a majority of the student body – CIRA Education has emerged as a local champion and thought-leader among its peers, implementing a distance learning protocol matched only by Egypt’s top-tier international school brands and equipping its virtually migrated classes with the finest tools in the market.

An unmatched harmonization of quality and affordability leaves CIRA in prime position to exploit market dynamics. Our branded Futures schools are now the largest player in the diverse middle-income segment on the back of affordable tuition fees designed to capture upgrades from the low-income segment should give CIRA highly profitable exposure to this expected inflow. At the other end of the market, four of CIRA’s institutions, Mavericks, Regents, BCCIS and SIS, offer the same world-class quality of education provided by international schools catering to upper-tier families – at much lower prices. These schools cater to the upper-middle income segment and are poised to attract families seeking to leave upper-tier international schools. Further, our latest successful venture into the nurseries segment, combined with our pipeline of new schools and universities and the cementing of world class partnerships, is expected to generate extensive growth for CIRA in both the short-and-long-term, all while modernizing and adding value to Egypt’s education space.

1Oxford Business Group - How will Egypt reform its education system?
2Colliers International - Egypt K12 Education Sector Market Overview