CAIRO: Publishing houses dropped a lawsuit on Tuesday that was previously filed against Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr to terminate his decision to impose fees for the license to print supplementary textbooks.
Badr declared on the same day that he was giving licenses to four publishing houses. Now a total of six publishers have resolved their disputes with the ministry, thereby ending a crisis in that started in September.
Supplementary textbooks are neither sold nor distributed by the Ministry of Education, but offer further explanation to the official school curriculum. They were outlawed a few weeks ago by Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr.
Publishers are now ready to print and distribute “Al-Mo’allem,” “Selah El-Telmeez,” “Al-Mo’aser,” “Al-Emtehan,” and “Al-Awa’el,” which should be available at bookstores within the next few days.
Publishers went to the Administrative Court to drop the lawsuit and provided an official apology to the minister at the court.
The publishers’ lawyer Osama Abdel-Meniem told Daily News Egypt that they dropped the lawsuit after reaching a resolution with the ministry that allowed them to print and distribute supplementary textbooks.
Badr said in a press release that the publishing houses expressed their commitment to making adjustments to the published content as specified by the ministry’s examination committee.
Badr also stated that he “was not pressured to end the crisis,” adding that the ministry had taken the needs of parents and students into consideration when the resolution was made.
Badr refused to say the exact amount of fees that the publishers paid the ministry.
“The dispute is not financial and we do not care about the amount we received from the publishers,” said Badr.
Head of the Egyptian Publishers Union Mohamed Rashad told Daily News Egypt that the union reached a resolution in which the ministry agreed to lower the license fees from LE 40 million to LE 3 million for each publishing house.
“Publishing houses have been negotiating with the ministry over the past few days,” said Rashad. “The ministry agreed to lower the fees to avoid the social and political repercussions that were raised during the crisis.”
The crisis started when Badr decided last March to issue a statute imposing a usufruct and limited examination period, which was rejected by publishers.