Egypt's 2020/2021 school year will start on Saturday 17 October, the education ministry said in a statement on Thursday, and no decision has yet been taken on if students will return to classrooms full-time.
The decision to start the school year in October instead of the normal September is due to the coronavirus epidemic, Education Minister Tarek Shawki said in the statement.
The form and system of study in the new school year are currently under study and will be announced once finalised.
Schools and universities suspended in-person classes in March in the wake of the pandemic. Most students have remained at home since, with assignments given online, although pupils taking their final high school exams did so in person in June and July.
Officials have been debating possible scenarios for the new school year, including the continuation of learning from home or two days’ attendance a week in schools.
"We have many proposals on what form school study will take, and we are currently working to reach the right decision that guarantees the continuation of the educational process in the manner that maintains the students' safety and health, especially since the pre-university education system has approximately 22 million students," Shawki said.
“We will rely on the use of modern technology in the learning process and will take advantage of the educational platforms launched by the ministry," since the emergence of coronavirus, the minister also said.
The first school term will run from 17 October 2020 to 5 February 2021, with 93 actual school days, the statement said. The second term will be from 20 February to 17 June, with 96 school days.
The mid-year vacation will start on 6 February and end on 18 February.
The thanaweya amma final high school exams will begin on 19 June, while the final exams for technical diplomas will begin on 29 May.
The statement said the announcement about the timings of the new school year was made during a virtual meeting of the High Council of Pre-University Education, headed by Shawki, to discuss decisions on the new school year.