Egypt begins new school year; minister hopes for 'stability'

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Sep 2015

Education minister warns all educational directorates against being involved in politics in order not to provoke differences between faculty and students

School children attend the first day of classes at the Talaat Harb government primary school, in the popular district of Shubra, Cairo, Egypt, Monday Sept. 28, 2015 (Photo:AP)

At least 19 million Egyptian pupils will head back to school on Monday, the first day of a new academic year, which the education minister hopes will be "more stable."

Minister of Education and Technical Education El-Hilali El-Sherbini told MENA agency that his ministry was ready to put in place urgent maintenance and security plans for schools and other educational facilities around Egypt for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The ministry has warned in an official statement sent to all educational directorates of involvement in politics in order to avoid provoking differences between faculty and students, and also to prevent any adverts on school walls that make use of political or religious slogans.

"We will work on making this academic year more stable and we will be expecting commitment from all parties, students and professors," El-Sherbini said.

"If any student faces a problem in any of their school subjects I encourage them to go to the private tutors and groups that will be provided by each school in all governorates," he added.

Egypt has long suffered from a deteriorating education system, which has been mostly blamed on insufficient government investment.

The country ranked last out of 148 countries surveyed in the 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum, for the quality of its primary education.

Schools suffer from a lack of facilities and a poor curriculum, while teachers complain of insufficient salaries.

This fiscal year 2015-2016, the government has allocated LE99.2 billion for education compared to LE94.4 billion in the 2014/15 budget.

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