Literacy is a national necessity and a condition for graduation
We are ready to deal with Corona emergency
It has become urgent necessity to link curriculum with labor market requirements
Prof. Dr. Salwa Rashad, Dean of Faculty of Al-Alsun at Ain Shams University, said that the academic situation in the Faculty has witnessed calm and stable atmosphere, since the beginning of the current academic year 2020-2021, noting that all arrangements have been made since a long time before the start of the new academic year.
She added in her interview with "Al-Ahram Gate", that there is a committee formed of the community service and environmental development sector in the faculty to follow up the examination rooms and traffic in the faculty, to monitor and deal with contravening cases, as well as to provide full flexibility for the possibility of transferring lectures to larger rooms commensurate with the number of students and the preventive measures that have been taken to confront the emerging corona virus.
She stressed that the faculty staff and the teaching assistants were advised to take appropriate action in the event that students did not commit to wearing masks inside the classrooms, in the interest of the general safety of students in the faculty.
After more than a week has passed in the current academic year... How did the faculty prepare for the study?
At the beginning ... I assure that the students of Faculty of Al-Alsun is one of the oldest faculties in the Middle East. It was founded by the great scholar Rafaa Al-Tahtawi before the establishment of the university and had a long history in cultural life through different ages. The academic situation in the Faculty witnessed calm and stability, especially after taking all arrangements have been made since long before the start of the new academic year 2020-2021.
There is also a committee formed of the community service and environmental development sector in the faculty to follow up the rooms and passage in the faculty to monitor and deal with violation cases, as well as provide full flexibility, for the possibility of transferring lectures to larger rooms commensurate with the numbers of students and the preventive measures that we have taken. The faculty staff and the teaching assistants were advised to take appropriate action in the event that students do not commit to wearing masks inside the classrooms, in the interest of public safety for faculty students.
The last semester had exceptional circumstances, after the repercussions of the new Corona virus, so the faculty administration took measures to implement an exceptional plan to deal with the crisis. After the faculty passed that period, which constituted pressure on the faculty administration, faculty staff and the teaching assistants, we now have a student database on the faculty’s electronic platform, through which we can start the new academic year according to systematic rules to face any emergency that may occur.
Also, the faculty administration took all precautionary measures and set the rules for social distancing for fourth year students during their end-of-year exams, which are the same procedures that will be applied during the current academic year in terms of maintaining social distancing and wearing masks for all students and workers, and reducing the number of students inside the room. In addition to preparing for the hybrid education process, as well as raising the state of maximum qualification in the faculty clinic and ensuring the full presence of medical teams to deal with any emergencies.
Faculty of Al-Alsun is currently using hybrid education after the decisions of the Supreme Council of Universities for the new academic year, with schedules being organized in the presence of students on campus for 3 days only, while lectures are conducted, three days from home, through distance education.
Al-Alsun was able to upload educational curriculum through an electronic platform, in addition to organizing training courses for faculty staff via the Internet on how to deal with electronic platforms and produce courses using e-learning tools, and to upload curricula through them, under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Metini, President of the University, Prof. Dr. Abdel-Fattah Saoud, Vice President for Education and Student Affairs, according to the quality standards that the faculty staff and the teaching assistants dealt with.
Fully holding electronic exams requires a high-quality technological infrastructure that we seek to develop, and measures have been taken as an electronic entrance to reach an appropriate electronic exam in light of the pandemic that we are going through by providing question banks.
The disabled students are exempted from participating in the activities of the national literacy project, and the community service and environmental development sector in the faculty offers many educational and cultural seminars and provides the possibility of field training for faculty students for 60 hours, divided into 4 years, to qualify students for the job market before their graduation.
The literacy project is a national necessity and not optional for students, and a condition for graduation, and she emphasized that the project aims to eradicate illiteracy of at least 4 people per student. The student will also receive a reward of 250 pounds for each successful mother, and the university will also pay the tuition fees on behalf of the student in the following academic year in the event that more than 4 students have literacy eradication.
The number of literacy classes opened by the faculty’s students so far in 8 governorates across the country has reached a total of 575 classes, including a total of 1620 students, in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Qalyubia, Alexandria, Sharkia, Damietta, Menoufia and Suez. These successes come within the framework of the fruits of the second phase of the call launched by the faculty’s community service and environmental development sector, in accordance with the directives and patronage of the university president, and under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Youmna Safwat, Vice Dean of Community Service and Environmental Development, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Nahed Rachel, coordinator of the literacy file at the faculty.
The role of Faculty of Al-Alsun at Ain Shams University, which was one of the first faculties in the university to declare since 2015 that it is free from illiteracy, and literacy is one of the most important presidential mandates beside the axes of development, health and education, pointing out that Faculty of Al-Alsun at Ain Shams University has a great history since founded by the great scholar Rafaa Al-Tahtawi, in the enlightenment of Egyptian society. It was the first faculty to implement a cooperation protocol with the Adult Education Authority through the training courses that it launched in cooperation with the University's Adult Education Center and the General Authority for Adult Education of the Council of Ministers, and do not spare any effort in harnessing all its educational and research capabilities in solving the issues of Egyptian society and contributing to its development, and that Community work outside the university walls is an essential pillar of the enlightenment mission entrusted to the universities.
There is no doubt that the tourism sector is one of the big sectors that the faculty is interested in to qualify its graduates to work in, especially since the faculty has certain departments that pay great attention in the field of work in tourism, including the departments of Russian, Spanish, Italian and Chinese language. Perhaps this interest is crystallized through holding continuous seminars and workshops to qualify students to work in the field of tourism, in addition to field training and employment forum for students, which works to enroll students for training with major tourism companies to qualify and train them in this field before graduation.
In the faculty, we have a large database of those tourism companies that enables us to train our students during the study period in them, as well as the graduate follow-up unit in the faculty that has a database for graduates through which it can provide job opportunities in various tourism companies, and we have 15 languages in the faculty and thus we are the largest number of languages available with one faculty at the level of the Middle East.
All sectors of the faculty work in harmony and continuous coordination to serve student activities, the education and students sector in coordination with youth welfare and the various committees of the Students' Union to carry out a series of various student activities throughout the year to serve student activities, as well as cultural activities organized by the Cultural Relations Committee of the Graduate Studies and Research Sector. Also, the community service and environmental development sector hosts many significant figures at the local, regional and international levels during seminars and workshops that are concerned with developing the students' cultural background, especially since Al-Alsun students are interested in studying the cultural and scientific aspects in addition to foreign languages. The faculty has a great privilege over the past years to host a distinguished constellation of the most prominent men of culture to enrich the cultural activity of students, including the knight of the Egyptian diplomacy Mustafa Al-Feki, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Al-Orabi, and the great poet Farouk Shousha.
Qualification for the labor market has become the main pillar and primary goal of Egyptian universities, as it has become necessary to link curriculum with the requirements of the labor market, and this compatibility between the educational process and the labor market cannot take place without direct contact between the faculty and business owners, so the faculty from an early age modified by the beginning of 2013, its regulations to introduce field training activities for students with 60 training hours over a period of 4 years, which is a condition of graduation.
During field training, students are enrolled in different training bodies under the joint supervision of the faculty administration and the training destination, and there is coordination between the two sides to follow up the student and ensure that he has successfully completed the training stages, and these training events include all business sectors, whether they are tourism, teaching, office, or work in diplomatic sector.
There are training entities that cover all sectors available for Al-Alsun graduate to work in through contracting with those training entities according to cooperation protocols between the faculty and these entities, and it includes governmental and private sectors, such as the National Center for Translation, the Information Authority, tourism companies, translation offices, etc., so that the student can apply his studies at the faculty in the labor market before graduating.
The direct contact between the faculty administration and the various work sectors results in the development of the faculty’s curricula to match the requirements of the labor market, so the curricula were developed after obtaining the echo from many training bodies to make the curriculum more specialized, as there is in the curriculum the essay material academic writing and essay writing specialized in many fields.
The credit-hour programs have reached 5 programs, namely: the translation and interpretation program in English, the translation and interpretation program in French, the specialized translation program in the Russian language, the specialized translation program in the Chinese language, the Arabic language program for non-native speakers, which is unique to Faculty of Al-Alsun at the Middle East level, but it did not help this year in light of the global Corona pandemic conditions.
Faculty of Al-Alsun offers distinguished innovative programs that apply quality standards to meet the needs of the labor market and society, and it also strengthens research capabilities to qualify graduates, so that they become researchers specializing in the fields of language, literature and translation, and the college aims to excel in language, literature and translation studies at the local, regional and international level by following a system that combines science and innovation.
We are committed to the state’s decisions and are ready for any situation that may take place in the coming days. There is already full coordination between the Ministries of Higher Education, Health and Population to follow up developments. We know that the decision always comes within the framework of the country's administration, headed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on the public health of students. The country's highest authority has decided to suspend studies at universities at any time, so we are ready to take up the challenge again by using distance education. Especially since we have passed the difficult period and we have come to rely on electronic platforms with members of the faculty, the assisting staff and students completely to ensure the continuation of the educational process in accordance with the highest international standards.
The number of departments in the faculty has reached 15 departments, namely: Arabic language - English - French - Italian - Spanish - German - Russian - Czech - African - Chinese - Japanese - Eastern – Semitic and Korean language, the last of which was the Portuguese Language Department, which was inaugurated at the beginning of the last academic year 2019-2020,
Whereas, the Portuguese Language Department at the Faculty of Al-Alsun at Ain Shams University is represented by the Egyptian government in cooperation with the Camus Institute and the University of Porto, representatives of the Portuguese government, to become a cultural beacon that shines with the light of its culture across the world, under the auspices of the university president.