Cairo University is seen almost empty following government efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Cairo, Egypt March 15, 2020. Picture taken March 15, 2020. (Reuters)
The Supreme Council of Universities announced that it will be meeting next Saturday to discuss government plans to extend the current mid-term leave till the end of the semester and reconvene at the beginning of the second semester to develop a timetable for examinations.
The meeting, which takes place every month, will be held in the presence of Mohamed Latif, secretary of the Supreme Council of Universities, and a number of university presidents at Helwan University.
Additionally, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, head of the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis, announced on Saturday, in the presence of a number of ministers and officials, the following decisions:
1) The mid-year vacation will be extended by one-week, provided that the second semester is resumed on Saturday, 27 February 2021.
2) Examinations that were postponed during the first semester will recommence at the beginning of the second semester as per the schedule announced by the colleges and institutes.
3) Examinations at universities and institutes will be carried out in strict compliance with examination rules, regulations, and policies, while taking into account all precautionary measures.
More information revolving around the timetable and academic curriculum will be determined in the next session, according to the Supreme Council of Universities.
Earlier in December, the Egyptian cabinet postponed first-term exams at schools and universities to instead be held in-person after the end of the mid-year break and ordered remaining classes to take place only through an online system starting January.
The decisions come as part of the government's strategy to offset the repercussions of the spread of the coronavirus in the interest of the health and safety of all members of the educational process, including students, faculty members, and teachers, December’s statement noted.
Egypt's health ministry reported 600 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total infection tally to 173,202 since the outbreak began domestically in mid-February of 2020.
Though Egypt entered the second wave of the coronavirus in early December, the country witnessed a decline in the daily infection rate in January before fluctuating up and down since last week.
Egypt’s Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, stated last Thursday that the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt “is expected to increase by April” but the curve would decline in May.