Egypt's Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar (photo courtesy of the Ministry of Higehr Education and Scientific Research0
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities approved on Saturday a three-week extension of the current academic year to complete the study plan for the different scientific disciplines in universities and institutes nationwide.
This comes a week after the government decided to extend the mid-year holiday for university and school students for an additional week to end on 26 February amid coronavirus concerns.
First semester exams, which were initially set for December 2020, were also rescheduled to begin on 27 February.
Students unwilling to take exams owing to concerns over the pandemic are entitled to apply to be exused from their exams before set dates, the council said, in accordance with Article 80 of the universities’ executive regulations.
According to Article 80, securing an excuse from exams is not considered failure and does not affect the number of times excused students are allowed to retake courses or exams.
Students who get infected with coronavirus can submit a medical report from the specialised medical authority of each university and, therefore, can be excused from the exams that coincide with the period of their illness.
The council also approved the continuation of the system that combines online and traditional classes, with a commitment to maintain social distancing and reduce the number of students in lecture halls and other university facilities.
Students in different theoretical universities and institutes will continue to attend in-person classes for no more than two days per week, according to a higher education ministry decision, and those in practical colleges will attend 3-4 days per week as per a previous decision by the council.
On a different note, the council also approved during the meeting the establishment of a new branch of the Suez University in South Sinai’s Abu Rudeis, with faculties of education, literature, science, and commerce.
Minister of Education Tarek Shawki took part in the council meeting, which was chaired by Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar.