A delegation of Egyptian officials and educational leaders are coming to America to observe the operation of science, technology, and mathematics magnet schools—and U.S. taxpayers will foot the entire bill.
“President Obama discussed the importance of education and science and technology in his famous June 2009 Cairo University speech,” the project solicitation emphasizes. “In Egypt, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of science and mathematics education in the pre-university education system.”
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is responsible for this Observational Study Tour (OST), is recruiting potential contractors to coordinate the one-week trip, which is tentatively slated for August or September.
According to a solicitation that USAID uploaded to the Federal Business Opportunities database this past Sunday, international studies conducted in Egypt in 2003 and 2007 indicate “serious weaknesses” in math and science education “both in absolute terms and relative to other Middle Eastern and Arab nations in the region.”
Consequently, U.S. citizens will fund activities such as the OST “that will eventually better prepare [Egyptian] students for careers in the 21st century.”
The selected contractor will be responsible for purchasing international tickets from and back to Egypt, domestic tickets within the U.S, providing other forms of domestic transportation, lodging and meals, securing U.S. visas and arranging visitor fingerprinting at the U.S. Embassy, the provision of interpreter and technical escort services, plus “any other unforeseeable expenses.” The contractor likewise will provide relevant tour materials and hold a series of workshops.
FOR ADDITIONAL COVERAGE OF THE U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE MONITOR'S USAID PAGE.
ALSO SEE THE MONITOR'S EDUCATION PAGE.