Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has called on the country's universities to implement distance learning and utilise technologies that can ease the educational process amid the coronavirus pandemic, presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement on Sunday.
The president has also ordered that the implementation of all precautionary measures related to sterilising university facilities be "strictly" maintained.
El-Sisi issued the directives during a meeting held earlier today with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, and the head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Ehab El-Far.
During the meeting, Abdel-Ghaffar reviewed the ministry’s plan for the school year amid the pandemic, including the precautions adopted to deal with the virus, the statement added.
Under a hybrid plan of face-to-face and online classes, Egyptian universities resumed their activities on Saturday, almost one month later than the usual start date for the academic year in September.
Schools have implemented a host of anti-coronavirus safety measures, including mandatory facemasks on campus and assigning students to small study groups.
The president’s meeting also tackled the latest developments concerning the establishment of new private, international, and technical universities nationwide.
El-Sisi was also shown the engineering designs and educational programmes of the private universities affiliated with the government, the statement added.
The president ordered the government to increase the numbers of these universities to 15 across the country, giving priority to modern sciences and advanced scientific majors that qualify students for the international and local job market.
He also ordered the adjusting of majors at technical universities to fit the industrial activities of the cities in which these universities are located.
The statement added that the president ordered the acceleration of construction of the new National Cancer Institute 500500 in accordance with the highest standards of quality and sustainability to provide the best level of healthcare.