Egypt's Minister of Higher Education Hussein Khaled has announced that the new university term will commence as planned on 11 February, despite calls for a nationwide strike and civil disobedience campaign.
A host of political groups, university students and workers in various fields have called for a strike and campaign of civil disobedience to begin on 11 February – the one-year anniversary of former president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster from power – to force an end to military rule.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Khaled said he had met with students and college deans from Cairo and Ain Shams Universities over the last two days to discuss preparations for the new academic year.
The minister called on students to protect university buildings and prevent foreign elements from entering campuses.
Hisham Sheeha, the head of therapeutic and emergency care at the Ministry of Health, has said that 11 February will be a normal working day and that no health sector workers had expressed interest in joining the planned action.
Hospitals have been put on a state of high alert, added Sheeha. Additional medical supplies, blood bags and medication have been provided and staff holidays suspended in case violence erupts.