According to local media reports, the Ministry of Education has revealed that it is preparing a bill to criminalize private lessons and close the countless of tutoring centers in Egypt.
The news was stated by Ahmed Saber, head of the Ministry’s press department, on Sunday.
Saber told Al Youm Al Sabe’, an Egyptian media publication,that the decision was sparked by a recent outrage in which a teacher at a private tutoring center in Alexandria was using offensive language directed at students. The incident was caught on camera and has been circulating on social media.
The incident will be investigated in the short future, with the teacher possibly facing work suspension and having to answer to the law.
Since the start of the new education system in September, there have been delays in the distribution of the new textbooks to several schools, which lead to several complaints by parents.
The new education system aims to move away from the superficial way of learning and memorising to learning important skills such as problem solving and creativity. It will do this by removing examinations from first grade to fourth grade and that the goal of the new system will revolve around “who am I”.
For students in secondary school, private lessons are a crucial part of preparing for finals and college. Unlike most nations, where extra lessons and private tutoring is mainly for students facing challenges, a free market system has filtered through the back door to fill in for the inadequacies of the public education system.
High school students often leave their schools early in the hopes of spending their time seeking the education they do not receive elsewhere, such at homes with other students in a private lesson setting or in a tutoring center.
Most students only attend school until noon to ensure they are marked as absent and then leave. Often, the schools do not expect full attendance from the students either although students and their families are still paying for their time at school.
In November 2015, the now-dismissed Sharqeya governor Reda Abdel Salam stated that private education centres in the city should be closed down. His idea sparked angry reactions. Many students protested against it.
Most families are forced to ensure the education of their children through these tutoring centers, knowing that often teachers who are badly paid at schools omit the information needed for students to achieve well in their exams.