File photo: Egyptian high school students wear protective face masks as they attend the first day of final exams, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt June 21, 2020. (Reuters)
Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has referred three schools to the country's public prosecution for failing to refund 25 percent of school bus fees paid for the last academic year.
The CPA issued a decision in late August requiring all schools and universities that provide student transportation services to refund 25 percent of the bus fees to students after the suspension of last year's second terms over the coronavirus pandemic.
Less than three months before the end of the 2019/2020 academic year, Egypt suspended in-person classes at all schools and universities nationwide as part of sweeping anti-coronavirus measures.
The country introduced a new research paper system as an alternative to written and oral exams for all grades, except for final year students, who sat for in-person exams in June and July.
Acting chairperson of the CPA Ahmed Samir said as many as 2,000 complaints were filed by students' parents since the decision was issued.
"Around 90 percent of the schools in Egypt complied with the CPA's decision and gave the money back to the students' parents,” Samir said in televised comments on Monday evening.
He stressed that under the CPA's laws, non-compliant schools could face fines ranging between EGP 10,000 and EGP 1 million (around $600 to $60,000) for each complaint, or fines ranging between EGP 20,000 and EGP 2 million (around $1,200 to 120,000) if the action is repeated.