E.G.C. English Girls College or El Nasr Chatby College

The acronym E.G.C. used to stand for English Girls College.

Before you start laughing and say what are boys doing in a girls' school, let me tell you some history.

History of E.G.C.

The English Girls College opened in October 1935. A person named Sir Henry Edward Barker was involved in its establishment, but to what extent is unknown to me at this point. The archives of the Barker family, linked above, must contain a lot of historical information about the E.G.C.

The original set of buildings were designed by the English architect Grey Warnum, and were inspired by the Spanish American Style of Architecture. Designed to hold a maximum of 1000 pupils, on an area of 20 feddans donated by the Alexandria governorate. They included a sports fields, a large Gymnasium, a full size swimming pool with changing rooms attached, Science laboratories for Physics, Chemistry and Biology, an Art room, a Domestic Science department and needle work section, an elegant dining room, a fine library and a great assembly hall fitted with a stage. The residence of the head mistress is a villa attached to the complex.

The Free Officers revolution of 1952 deposed the king, and established a military junta as rulers of Egypt. In 1956, they sacked the British staff, and the school became a state school, and renamed El Nasr Girl's College. It admitted some 4,000 students that year. The same fate was to become the other two English schools in Alexandria as well, namely, Victoria College (VC), and English Boys School (EBS).

In 1957, the exiled governors of the three English schools of Alexandria started work on compensation claims. Although some compensation was received from Egyptian funds held in London, there was clearly no hope of regaining possession of the three school properties in Alexandria. Various school Trusts were therefore set up as charities to use the income to promote and maintain the teaching of the English language and culture in the Middle East, especially in Alexandria. In 1972, the Victoria College and English Girls School Trusts amalgamated into the Alexandria Schools Trust, and were joined in 1980 by the British Boys School Trust. 

E.G.C. started out as a Girls only school, from Nursery (kindergarten) all the way to high school. It had a boarding section that was still in operation in the 1970s, where the daughters of diplomats and other busy people enrolled.

More info available at the E.G.C. web site History page.

After the British Era

The school went by various names, from the original English Girls' College, to El Nasr Girls' College in 1956, to El Nasr Chatby College (E.C.C) when it started admitting boys. "El Nasr" means "Victory" in Arabic, as was common to rename things in that post-revolution era. The name Chatby is the English rendering of the district that the school is in, and is named for a person الشاطبي who is buried there, originally from Jativa شاطبة in Muslim Spain (Andalus). Our uniforms had E.C.C. embroidered on them.

The school had some British staff well into the 1970s, with Mrs. Anne Khalafalla آن خلف الله the last native British headmistress to run the school. The head of primary section was (Mrs. Atteya عطية), another British lady married to an Egyptian. Everyone admired, respected and feared both of them. After her retirement, Mrs. Enaam El Dafrawi إنعام الدفراوي, an Egyptian, replaced her as a headmistress.

Even in those days, there were a few students who struggled with English, had bad pronounciation and comprehension, ...etc., but that was the exception, not the norm.

The E.G.C. Boys: Boys in a Girls' School

I do not know the exact date they started admitting boy. My eldest cousin started there around 1964, and he tells me that his class was not the first one to have boys. In any case, boys were only allowed till grade 3 Prep (equivalent to grade 9 in North America).

By the early 1990s, the school stopped taking in boys again, and became a purely girls' school once more.

The nasty brats from the nearby E.B.S or English Boys School (just down the road to the south), and the faraway V.C. or Victoria College would still make fun of us that we are in a Girls school, calling us sissies and such. The reputation was that the EBS and VC boys were really into bad things, from name calling, bad manners, to much worse. The EGC boys were much better mannered for sure.

Current State of Affairs

The teaching standards in E.G.C. declined drastically, and the quality of recent graduates is in question. A visitor who used to be a prefect in the early 1990s tells me that she used to take girls out of the line in the morning if they are wearing jewellery. A recent visit there there found that most girls wear make up, eye liner, long nails with nail polish and jewellery. Things that were unthinkable even in the early 1990s, and indicate a lack of discipline.

Weak management and an influx of young inexperienced teachers, along with the fact that the school is now government run contribute to this decline. So now, it is a school with English heritage, and nothing more.

E.G.C. Web site

Amirah, a visitor to my web site, kindly pointed out that EGC now has a web site at egcalex.com.

Satellite Photo of E.G.C

Here is a satellite photo of the E.G.C. in Alexandria, from Google Local web site. 

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Comments

need pictures of EGC in the seventies

hi guys,
its nice to from people who went to the same school as my sisters and myself.we had a blast at EGC especially during the summer. i now have a school and would like to build a permanent site similar in design to what i remember of EGC. especially the fantastic theater and library.
if any one can help with design drawings i would truly appreciate it.thanks
regards
batul

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