Egypt MPs call for resignation of education minister

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 27 Jun 2016

Egypt MPs said Education Minister Al-Hilali Al-‎Sherbini's failure to contain the Thanawiyya Amma ‎exam leaks should force him to resign

Minister of Education El-Hilali El-Sherbini (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian Parliament's Education Committee said in an ‎urgent meeting on Monday that Education Minister ‎Al-Hilali Al-Sherbini should resign from office after he ‎failed to contain the Thanaweya Amma exam leaks.

‎MPs described Al-Sherbini as a "failed minister", and as a ‎result he should resign from office or parliament would move to ‎withdraw confidence in him.‎

The committee's meeting came after MPs blasted Al-‎Sheribni in a parliamentary plenary session Monday. ‎

Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said Al-Sherbini should attend ‎the committee's meeting to defend himself.

"I know that ‎the exam leaks have left hundreds of families in Egypt ‎suffering from psychological pain, and it is the ‎minister's duty to come to parliament to respond to ‎the questions," Abdel-Aal said.‎

Abdel-Aal said the education committee should ‎thoroughly study the exam leak scandal, prepare a ‎report, and decide whether it is constitutional to ‎withdraw confidence from the education minister. ‎

MP Zeinab Salem began the attacks against Al-‎Sherbini by describing him as a failed minister. "I think ‎parliament should have a role in this crisis which has ‎caused a lot of pain for hundreds of families in Egypt," ‎he said.‎

Joining forces, Salah Hassaballah, chairman of the ‎Freedom Party, said that not only has Minister El-Sheribini ‎failed to address the leaks crisis, but also made the ‎wrong decision in postponing some of the final ‎Thanaweya Amma exams.

"This flawed policy led ‎hundreds of students to protest on the street and left ‎many others in agony and distress," said Hassaballah.‎

Khaled Helal, an independent MP, said that "The leaks of ‎different Thanaweya Amma exams were made in an ‎orderly way and on a wide scale this year."

"As a result ‎the education ministry officials, including the minister ‎himself, were left helpless and unable to contain this ‎crisis," said Helal, adding that, "the problem is not with ‎the minister himself, but with the ministry as a whole as ‎this scandal has exposed a lot of corruption among its ‎senior officials."

"I think there is a mafia of corruption ‎inside the education ministry and that this mafia should ‎be put on trial," said Helal.‎

Helal also criticised El-Sherbini's decision to go ahead with the Thanaweya Amma physics exam after it was leaked.

"This decision does a lot of ‎injustice to excellent students who were able to answer ‎the questions of this exam," said Helal.‎

MP Ghada Sakr said parliament should ask the ‎armed forces or the intelligence apparatus to take charge ‎of printing and organising Egypt's Thanaweya Amma ‎exams in the coming years. ‎

Hani Abaza, deputy chairman of parliament's education ‎committee, told reporters that prime minister Sherif ‎Ismail and education minister Al-Hilali Al-Sherbini ‎should come to the committee to respond to MPs' ‎questions and attacks.

"We have invited them and it is ‎their duty to come to explain themselves," said Abaza.‎

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