Students will no longer be allowed to wear the niqab at school in Egypt, according to a new prohibition put in place by the Egyptian Ministry of Education on 11 September.
Head coverings in schools will also become optional. While they may be worn at the discretion of the student, their choice of covering may not obscure their face.
Regardless of their choice, the students’ guardian must be aware of and consent to the hair covering.
As such, students wearing the niqab or any other article of clothing that violates the new prohibitions will not be allowed to enter the school.
Egypt has a decades-long history with regard to allowing the niqab in educational institutions, especially in universities. While it has been a topic of controversy in the past, the recent prohibition has not caused as much uproar at this time.
These decisions regarding the niqab and hair coverings were reported by several local media publications as part of a list of prohibitions for the coming school year, scheduled to begin on 30 September. The rules apply to both public and private schools in the country.
Other reported preparations taken in advance of the 2023/2024 academic year include: banning smoking in schools, prohibiting kindergarteners from being assigned homework, and banning camera phones for students and teachers.
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