USAID Has Advanced STEM Education in Egypt Despite Some Implementation Challenges

Audit Report
Report Number
8-263-18-002-P

Prospects for long-term stability and prosperity in Egypt, a key U.S. ally, are hindered by Egypt’s poor education system. To help the Egyptian Ministry of Education expand and strengthen its efforts to provide science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, in August 2012 USAID/Egypt awarded a 4-year, $25 million cooperative agreement to World Learning to implement the STEM School Project. We conducted this audit to determine whether project activities advanced STEM education for targeted students. We also examined English language instruction and cost-sharing requirements during implementation to determine whether the project built the ministry’s capacity to replicate and sustain STEM schools. We found that the project successfully reached targeted students with instruction and increased the capacity of ministry staff, school administrators, and teachers in admissions, instruction, testing, and records management. As of June 2016, the Egyptian Government had established nine STEM schools, well beyond the three to five initially expected, demonstrating staff’s capability to replicate the STEM model. Yet English language instruction proved insufficient, requiring World Learning to develop an online resource that would boost English proficiency, and World Learning still needed to be more transparent in reporting its costsharing contributions and meeting its commitment. The mission agreed with and took corrective actions to address two of the three recommendations regarding cost sharing. The third recommendation remains unresolved pending Agency determination on the allowability of questioned costs.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

USAID/Egypt determine the allowability of $189,069 in unsupported cost-sharing contributions reported as of March 31, 2016, and factor the determination into identifying any shortfall at the conclusion of World Learning's award

Questioned Cost:
$189069
Close Date:
Recommendation 2

USAID/Egypt determine whether cost-sharing amounts claimed for the books rejected by the Egyptian Government should be counted toward World Learning's required cost-sharing contribution, and factor the determination into identifying any shortfall at the end of World Learning’s award.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 3

USAID/Egypt conduct and document a comprehensive review of the total cost sharing reported by World Learning and its supporting documentation after March 31, 2016, and recover any identified shortfall.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date: