The aim of this study is to shed light on the parental factors that affect children’s education in Egypt in terms of access and completion of the basic education level. Schooling increases at first as children enroll, but then it declines as some children start to drop-out after a few years. Dropping-out of school and the existence of child labor are consequences of poverty. Parental education has been found to be a major factor behind the children’s schooling and child labor decision. Low returns to education impose a further challenge to the household decision on schooling. Education in Egypt had seriously declined. The curriculum is not relevant to the students, teachers lack training, exams are poorly designed, attendance is weak and laws are not enforced. An action research was conducted as a holistic approach to problem solving, rather than a single method for collecting and analyzing data. Participants were workers in the Desert Development Center and office boys in AUC attending eliminating illiteracy sessions under the leadership of AUC Student Union body. The other site was Sayyeda Zeinab, where eliminating illiteracy classes were held in a building that belongs to Abou El Azayem Mosque. Participants were inhabitants of the neighborhood from both sexes and different age groups. The researcher explored the participants’ world, their past experiences, beliefs and desires. Data collected the different reasons for dropping-out of schools and how individuals face life challenges without having proper education and how at the end they found it indispensable. The researcher discovered that students who decided to drop-out have not finished maturing neither emotionally nor physically. Studies showed that the need of the families to raise their income and failure in the basic compulsory education are the two main reasons that force children to drop-out. The solution to the problem is complicated, and social change could not happen within a short time. It has to take time and be gradual.


International & Comparative Education Department

Degree Name

MA in International & Comparative Education

Graduation Date

Spring 6-2-2013

Submission Date

December 2014

First Advisor

Purinton, Ted

Second Advisor


Third Advisor


Committee Member 1

Skaggs, Jennifer

Committee Member 2

Rissmann-Joyce, Stacie

Committee Member 3



57 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item