Friday,23 February, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)
Friday,23 February, 2018
Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Discipline decree withdrawn

The prime minister has suspended a decree issued by the Education Ministry regarding a charter of discipline, reports Reem Leila

thanaweya amma
thanaweya amma
Al-Ahram Weekly

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail this week suspended for one year a decree applying a disciplinary charter. The charter was supposed to monitor students’ performance and attendance at school, and focus on the relationship between parents, students and the schools.

The decree was issued by Minister of Education and Technical Education Al-Helali Al-Sherbini to improve the educational process at schools. The controversial decree angered students as well as parents.

Ismail said in a press conference that the decree was suspended following demands by parents and after thorough discussions with the education minister. “It is essential to improve the educational process as a whole, and to develop curriculum as well as examinations. This is in addition to providing students with after school classes to improve the educational standard,” Ismail said.

The government, according to Ismail, is keen on fixing the overall educational system and strengthening various cultural and athletic activities among students.

A number of thanaweya amma, or 12th grade, high school students, along with their parents demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education to protest against the disciplinary charter. It was previously reported that according to the disciplinary charter, parents and students have the right to object and appeal any penalty imposed on a student.

Al-Sherbini stated in a press conference that students’ welfare was taken into consideration in the suspension of the decree. “A different method could be found later, after thoroughly discussing it with educational experts,” Al-Sherbini said.

In Suez, dozens of students protested against the ministerial decree. They chanted slogans against the minister of education and the school disciplinary charter.

In Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate, dozens of students marched to the governorate’s education directorate while holding banners and chanting slogans against the minister and the charter.

Hossameddin Mustafa, a thanaweya amma student, said the decree harms only thanaweya amma students. “The decree forces us to attend school. We don’t want to go to school. Teachers do not come and we attend outside centres to take private lessons in all subjects. So why should I attend school? It’s a waste of time.”

Kamal Al-Refaie, an accountant and father of thanaweya amma twins, described the charter “as an evident example of the government’s failure to control and enhance the country’s educational system.

“Teachers do not bother to attend school. They prefer to go to centres and give students private lessons. It is more feasible for them since their government’s salary is not enough,” said Al-Refaie, who added there was no point in applying it. “Let students study in peace.”

According to the Global Competitiveness Report issued in 2013 and published by the World Economic Forum, Egypt came last out of 148 countries in the quality of its primary education. Most schools suffer from a lack of facilities and a poor curriculum while teachers complain of low salaries that have led many to work outside their schools, giving private lessons to augment their pay.

Essam Mohamed, a tour guide and father of three, said applying the school discipline charter was essential to maintain Egypt’s educational system. “We will always be last in the world as long as we refuse orders. Nothing is wrong about students and parents abiding by a disciplinary charter. It is essential. Can’t these people see our education is a big mess? We have to start at some point,” argued Mohamed.

Schools, according to Mohamed, should be the only place where students receive their education, not outside, in private centres. Teachers must do their job properly, and the government should pay them higher salaries to enable them to lead a dignified life without taking money from parents.

add comment

  • follow us on