Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawky has denied rumours of his infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Shawky also took the opportunity to assert that the educational process in Egypt is proceeding as normal.
Speaking on Saturday, the minister said that the delay in delivering tablets to high school students in Alexandria was due to a shortage of 4,000 tablets. The hiccup has been resolved by the ministry’s purchasing department, who has provided the full amount to resolve the problem.
He confirmed that Egypt has put in place several plans of action in order to ensure a smooth finish to the current 2020/21 academic year. This will take into account possible school closures as a result of the ongoing health crisis.
Shawky added that the Ministry of Education and Technical Education has been able to professionally manage the current academic year, due to its having 10 times the capacity that it had in the previous year.
He announced that the date for the first semester exams has been set, with the first semester due to end in January 2021. This comes as part of the implementation of the official timetable approved by the Supreme Council for Pre-University Education for the 2020/21 academic year.
The minister said that the number of coronavirus infections reported in schools has not exceeded 300 since the start of the academic year.
He added that the infection rate remains low compared to the total of 23 million students currently enrolled in Egypt’s schools. This is in addition to the two million teachers and administrators employed at schools across the country.
Shawky said that his ministry has allowed for students to study at home this year, and take the exams as normal, should they so wish due to the current circumstances.
He confirmed that the ministry’s Crisis Management Committee is doing a great job on the ground to monitor the pandemic in Egypt, and emphasised that everything is under control.
In the worst case scenario, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education has already prepared televised school classes should there be a significant rise in coronavirus cases nationwide. This has come in addition to the preparation of an e-library of lessons and e-books, which will open next December.