Schools resume studies Saturday

Mohamed Habib, Wednesday 23 Feb 2011

Newly appointed Minister of Education, Ahmed Gamaleddin Moussa, has announced that studies are to resume in schools across the nation next Saturday 26 February. However, he gave governors discretionary power to postpone the resumption of studies for a further week, depending on their assessment of the security situation in their provinces. As for university education, Moussa announced that studies in private universities are to resume next Saturday as well, but are to be postponed for a further week in government universities, which account for the great majority of university students in the country.

While the minister failed to explain the reasons behind the further postponement in the case of government universities, it is believed that the new government probably hopes to find a solution during that extra week for the explosive issue of university security. Even before the revolution, students in campuses across the country had strongly protested the continuing presence of university security guards working under police auspices, demanding that university security should be handed over to private security firms, and be placed under university auspices. Moreover, the issue was taken before the courts, which ruled in favor of the students, ordering the removal of the police from government university campuses.

The Mubarak regime, as has been its standard practice in the past, ignored both the judicial ruling and the students’ demands. Such contempt for the people's will and the law would be difficult, if not impossible to maintain in today's post-revolutionary Egypt, however. What kind of solution the new government will come up with over the coming week is yet to be known, but it is safe to say that a return of the police to campuses is next to impossible to conceive.


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