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The collapse of Egypt’s schools

| March 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Online news agency Al-Monitor has reported on the increased number of school deaths caused by “negligence and the deterioration of school maintenance” in Egypt since the start of the academic year in September 2014.

A series of deadly accidents, which occurred over just two months and were highlighted online, caused parents to call for the resignation of education minister Mahmoud Abou el-Nasr.

On 13 October last year, primary school student Youssef Mohamed died after a dilapidated class window at Ammar ibn Yasir public school in the rural El-Matareya district fell down onto him.

On 19 October, at Zaghyrat Public Primary School, the school gate collapsed on top of seven-year-old student Youssef Soltan Zaki. Forty-eight hours later, at Amin el-Nasharty school, third-grader Ahmed Abdel Aal was hit by the vehicle transporting the school meals. Eighteen students were killed on 18 November when their school bus’s brakes failed and crashed into three other vehicles on a major highway.

The generalised crumbling infrastructure and deterioration of resources at public Egyptian schools has long been a source of concern for parents, causing many to opt rather for private institutions. However, many of these facilities are also not up to code, reports Al-Monitor. On 29 October 2014, Youssef Sameh Gerges, enrolled in the private language school Bardy, in the Qalyubia governorate about 45 km from Cairo, died after the school water fountain fell on him.

On 30 October, student Petter Magdy died while climbing the fence at his secondary school, Ahmed Bahgat, in the Giza governorate. He stumbled and fell on an iron skewer.

Egyptian school enrolment this year reached 18 million students in 48 000 schools spread across Egypt. The ministry, its leader still in position, has intensified its campaigns against schools liable for negligence. School principals, who were present at the moment of the incidents, were suspended and interrogated.

Category: Autumn 2015

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