In July, the Ministry of Education released several decrees concerning the improvement of public school education in Egypt. In light of the new academic year, here is a brief look into some of the improvements mentioned in those decrees.

Attendance Policy

According to El Watan News, Minister of Education El Halaly El Sherbni released a decree on Saturday stating that, during the 2015/2016 academic year, 10% of the overall grade of Thaneweya Amma (Secondary School) will be allocated to attendance and behaviour – as previously mentioned by former Minister Moheb El-Rafie in July.

Minister El Sherbni also stated that student absences will be monitored electronically via the ministry’s official website on a daily basis, as the teacher must upload the absent student’s name in order to avoid favouritism from the teacher and to ensure transparency and accountability.

No to Private Tutoring

In July, former Minister Moheb El-Rafie set limitations on 1628 centres for private tutoring in 20 provinces around Egypt. According to El Watan News, El-Rafie also stated that the Ministry is fighting private tutoring in all the legal and constitutional ways.

According to ElBadil News, the former cabinet announced in August that they will also create tuition services that are licensed by the government. These services will be located in youth centres and schools at cheaper rates in the hopes that they will put an end to private tutoring in Egypt.

School Maintenance

Several decrees were released following several maintenance-related incidents which occurred in some schools in Egypt. For instance, according to Al-Monitor, Youssef Mohamed, a Primary student in Ammar Ibn Yasser public school in the rural El-Matareya area in Cairo, passed away a year ago after a dilapidated class window fell onto him, cutting his throat. Since then, the Ministry has made the renovation of school buildings a top priority. However, according to El Watan News, the renovation of some of these schools has only reached 5 to 8% – making it impossible to open their doors for its students in time for the new academic year.

According to Major General Yousri Abdallah, Head of the Educational Buildings Association, students whose schools were not renovated will be transferred to neighbouring schools. The association has renovated 13,000 schools in different provinces around Egypt, with more to be done during the first term of the current academic year.

Forbidding Corporal Punishment

The Ministry of Education released a decree concerning corporal punishment against students, including verbal or physical abuse. According to MadaMasr, The School Discipline Charter, curated by the ministry, addressed the responsibilities of every individual in the educational system – including teachers, students, school administrative bodies, and parents. The charter also outlines what is deemed acceptable in dealing with misbehaving students.

Forbidding Political Discussion

According to Youm7, the Ministry has sent Manual (El Ketab ElDawari) 26 to all schools around Egypt’s provinces  – regulating new rules for the upcoming academic year. One of the rules is forbidding political or partisan discussion in classes, as well as stressing the importance of saluting the flag in the morning.

Information gathered from MadaMasr, ElWatan News, Masrawy, ElBadil, Vetogate, Youm7, Al-Monitor.

Featured photo credits: Daily News Egypt.

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