Egypt parliament committee approves allowing ministry to change studying systems 'whenever necessary'

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 9 Aug 2020

The minister said the legislative amendment is necessary to contain crises like the coronavirus pandemic

File photo: school students sitting an exam (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian parliament's education committee approved in a meeting on Sunday a legislative amendment allowing the Minister of Higher Education to change the exam and studying systems at Egyptian universities whenever necessary.

Sami Hashem, head of the committee, said MPs approved amending Article 197 of the law regulating the performance of universities (law 49/1972) to give the minister of higher education the right to change the exam and studying systems.

The amended Article 197 now states that "in case of necessity, the minister of higher education will be authorised, upon the approval of the Higher Council for Universities, to change the studying and exam systems or draft an alternative evaluation system during a university year in order to help complete the education process and meet the basic requirements of the criterion related to curriculums."

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said the above legislative amendment comes to help contain crises which might disrupt the school year at universities.

"We saw how the coronavirus pandemic negatively affected the performance of universities, and so the legislative amendment comes to give the minister the flexibility necessary to contain crises like the coronavirus and guarantee that universities complete their school year in a successful way," said Abdel-Aal.

Abdel-Ghaffar said that despite the coronavirus, universities were able to complete the school year in a very distinguished way.

"The new legislative amendment will give us the authority to face crises and ensure that the education process goes smoothly at universities and students study curriculums in a complete way," Abdel-Ghaffar.

Abdel-Ghaffar also revealed that the government is about to open the door for the creation of "civilian universities."

"This is a new project which will help the middle class meet its education needs at affordable prices," said Abdel-Ghaffar, indicating that "as a result, we will have three kinds of higher education systems designed to meet the needs of three classes in Egypt in the coming period."

"We will have government universities which offer free education, civilian universities which offer education at affordable prices to middle classes, and private or international universities which offer education to wealthy classes," said Abdel-Ghaffar, indicating that "the first two civilian universities will be set up in Ismailia and Port Said governorates."

"I hope that civilian universities will introduce a new qualitative shift in terms of teaching new education programmes that can meet the requirements of Egypt's business and labour markets in a quickly developing age," said Abdel-Ghaffar.

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