24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions

24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions
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Students wearing protective masks attend the first day's class at Al Sadeeya school, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Cairo, Egypt October 17, 2020. (Reuters)
24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions
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Students wearing protective masks attend the first day at Al Sadeeya school, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Cairo, Egypt October 17, 2020. (Reuters)
24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions
3 / 3
Students wearing protective masks attend the first day's class at Al Sadeeya school, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Cairo, Egypt October 17, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 18 October 2020

24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions

24 million Egyptian students begin school year amid virus precautions
  • School leaders spent the first day of school making announcements to students about essential hygiene and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • There was generally a high turnout of students in most schools, despite rumors of classes being canceled

CAIRO: Amid measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, 24 million Egyptian students have started their academic year in 56,000 different schools.
School leaders spent the first day of school making announcements to students about essential hygiene and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There was generally a high turnout of students in most schools, despite rumors of classes being canceled.
The Ministry of Education and Technical Education circulated precautionary measures for schools, such as following up on those who have been in contact with infected people to limit the transmission of infection, raising awareness among all groups participating in education, including students’ families, and maintaining social distancing.
Mahmoud El-Fouly, a representative of the Education and Technical Education Directorate in Giza Governorate, said that the student attendance on the first day of school was 100 percent. He said that he addressed the students in the morning to reassure them about the pandemic.
“Egypt is free of the coronavirus, but prevention is better than treatment,” he said.
He called for maintaining personal hygiene and the constant ventilation of classrooms and places where students gather inside schools.
Official sources said that at the beginning of term the ministry will follow up the attendance of students and any problems that might appear. Schools have instructions on how to deal with any cases of sickness quickly.
The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education denied reports that the start of studies in universities for the academic year 2020-2021 would be postponed. It said that the academic year began in all universities nationwide on the announced date, Saturday.
The first semester of the academic year in Egypt will last for 14 weeks, ending on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, with the first semester exams taking place from Jan. 23 until Feb. 4, 2021.
The mid-year break runs from Feb. 6 until Feb. 18, 2021. The second semester starts on Feb. 20, 2021 and continues for sixteen weeks until July 10, 2021.
The end-of-semester exams will be conducted during June and July 2021.


Trump grants Bahrain’s King Hamad top honor on last day in office

Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
Updated 19 January 2021

Trump grants Bahrain’s King Hamad top honor on last day in office

Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
  • King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa was given the US award after Bahrain normalised relations with Israel
  • The king was also recognized for his ‘prominent role in pushing bilateral cooperation’

LONDON: Bahrain’s King Hamad was awarded a rare medal by US President Donald Trump in recognition of his “remarkable efforts” to consolidate relations and the close partnership between the two countries, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Tuesday.
Trump decorated the monarch with the Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, “a rarely-awarded, prestigious decoration that can only be bestowed by the president, typically to chiefs of state or heads of government of other countries,” the White House said.
The king was also recognized for his “prominent role in pushing bilateral cooperation to broader and more comprehensive horizons, which promoted the common interests of the two countries and its peoples,” BNA said.
The outgoing American leader said that he was “pleased to present this medal to the king, who over decades contributed to establishing Bahrain’s position as a steadfast strategic ally and partner working alongside the United States.”
Trump added that Manama’s support for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is stationed in Bahrain, had a supportive role in enabling it to perform its multiple tasks and he praised the king’s courage and wise leadership vision for his support for peace and his decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.
He described this decision as the start of a new era of economic and security cooperation among the most important US partners in the Middle East and made peace in the region a possible process that would reshape the region’s landscape in a positive way for future generations.
The American president said that the partnership between the two countries would become deeper in the Middle East.
“The king’s decorating of this prestigious medal is an indication of the high position that he enjoys in the US, and the great appreciation for the prominent roles and major contributions he has made in enhancing security, stability, and prosperity with the vision of spreading peace in the region,” the statement added.
In its final days in office, the Trump administration announced the designation of both Bahrain and the UAE as “major security partners” of the US, a status unique to both countries that demonstrated a “new level of partnership” and “represents an enduring commitment to economic and security cooperation.
“It also reflects their extraordinary courage, determination, and leadership in entering into the Abraham Accords,” the White House said on Friday.
Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco, and Sudan joined Egypt and Jordan to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel last year, in deals brokered by the US.
Also, on Friday, Trump decorated Morocco’s King Mohammed VI with the same accolade bestowed on King Hamad for “vision and personal courage,” especially his decision to resume ties with Israel, that “have positively reshaped the landscape of the Middle East and North Africa and ushered in a new era of security and prosperity for both our countries and the world.”
The Legion of Merit is a military award that was created to honor Allied leaders in World War II and had gone into obscurity until it was revived by Trump, who last month also presented it to the prime ministers of Australia, India, and Japan.

(With AFP)