School attendance no longer mandatory amid spike in COVID-19 infections – minister

Due to a spike in COVID-19 infections, Egypt’s Education Ministry announced on Monday that school attendance is no longer mandatory part of measures to protect students, teachers, and administrative workers.

The ministry said that this decision will be effective until January 10, which coincides with the start of midterm exams. It also affirmed that classes will not be halted and schools will not be closed, and are committed to apply all precautionary measures to avoid a new surge in coronavirus infections.

Students can now study from home full time, coming in just to take exams, the ministry noted.

Egypt’s 2020-2021 academic year started on October 17 amid strict precautionary measures to combat the pandemic announced by both Ministries of Education and Health.

The Education Ministry issued several precautionary measures and 30 health-related recommendations for schools to follow during the academic year to protect students from contracting the virus.

Attendance schedules have been staggered so that students could stay home most days, while wearing face masks are mandatory for all.

By using the educational satellite channel “Madrasatona” (Our School), students could watch lessons at home and self-study, with attendance days at school centred around discussing the lessons.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population revealed on Monday new 718 coronavirus cases, up from 664 on Saturday. The ministry also announced 32 virus-related deaths.

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