Al-Azhar System

Another system that runs in parallel with the public educational system is known as the Al-Azhar system. It consists of six years of primary stage, a three-year preparatory stage and finally three years of secondary stage. The Ministry of education reduced the number of secondary school years from four to three years in 1998, so as to align the Al Azhar system with the general secondary education system. In this system as well, there are separate schools for girls and boys. Al Azhar education system is supervised by the Supreme Council of the Al-Azhar Institution. The Azhar Institution itself is nominally independent from the Ministry of Education, but is ultimately under supervision by the Egyptian Prime Minister.Al Azhar schools are named "Institutes" and include primary, preparatory, and secondary phases.All schools in all stages teach religious subjects and non-religious subjects, to a certain degree- not as intensively as the state schools. The bulk of the curriculum, however, consists of religious subjects as described below. All the students are Muslims. Al-Azhar schools are all over the country, especially in rural areas. The graduates of Al-Azhar secondary schools are eligible to continue their studies at the Al-Azhar University. As of 2007 and 2008, there are 8272 Al-Azhar schools in Egypt. In the early 2000s, Al-Azhar schools accounted for less than 4% of the total enrollment.The graduates of this system are then automatically accepted into Al-Azhar University.In 2007, the Pre-University enrollment in Al- Azhar institutes is about 1,906,290 students.