Egyptian government waives students' school fees

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Sep 2013

Fees for students attending Egypt's Arabic language public schools will be waived for the new school year

Egypt's government has approved the exemption of all students in public schools from paying tuition fees for the coming school year, the cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

The decision comes as part of the government's attempt to "ease the burden on Egyptian families" and help them cope with the current "exceptional conditions,” the statement explained.

Egypt has a total of 18.2 million students in pre-university education, out of which 91 percent or 16.6 million attend the nation's 41,346 public schools.

The exemption applies to tuition fees of Arabic-only public schools, whose annual fees can reach LE100 ($14). Books will also be provided free of charge in such schools. "Tagribi" schools, which are public schools offering education in foreign languages –charging slightly higher tuition fees– will not be subject to the exemption.

Egyptian families typically spend the bulk of their education expenses on out-of-classroom private tuition rather than on school fees.

The Egyptian government expects to spend some LE82 billion ($11.7 billion) or 16 percent of total public expenditure on education in the current fiscal year. The government did not specify how it expects the decision to affect the education budget.

The school year is scheduled to start on 21 September.

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