CAIRO: Egypt’s education minister has warned that an expected second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) could see a suspension of education in the country.
But Tarek Shawky gave reassurances that should such measures be necessary alternative arrangements would be made to complete the school year.
He said: “The ministry is fully prepared for the second wave of the coronavirus if it occurs in the coming months.
“All educational directorates in various governorates have instructions from the ministry to tighten precautionary measures inside educational facilities and schools, to limit the spread of the virus.
“Protecting students in various classrooms is one of our most important priorities, and we are always working to provide distinguished, high-quality education to the masses of students,” he added.
Shawky pointed out that canceling the new academic year 2020-2021 due to the pandemic was not an option and that all transfer and certification examinations would be held on their scheduled dates.
The minister said school attendance rates were high, coinciding with the third week of the new academic year, and that remedial groups were running in a disciplined manner with no problems detected.
“The situation in all schools nationwide is excellent and is proceeding as planned. There is constant follow-up in schools, to ensure the regularity of the school day and the absence of any obstacles affecting the progress of the educational process,” he added.
Teachers and students in Egypt have been following strict precautionary measures including the wearing of face masks throughout the school day.
An official source in the Egyptian Ministry of Education said that the number of COVID-19 deaths in educational facilities was three per million, with only 75 cases reported among 25 million students, teachers, administrators, and other individuals working in the country’s education system.
The source added that precautionary measures were constantly being monitored and reviewed in coordination with the Ministry of Health.