CAIRO: Minister of Information Anas El-Fiqqi agreed to allocate TV channels for the Ministries of Education and Higher Education to broadcast educational programs should an H1N1 outbreak cause schools to close down.
El-Fiqqi met with Minister of Education Youssry El-Gamal and Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal on Monday to discuss providing alternative methods through which students can study from home.
An official press statement indicated that El-Fiqqi, El-Gamal and Helal underlined that the TV programs will not substitute schools in general. “However they are the best alternative that can be used to handle any urgent situation, the statement read.
In the statement, the Ministry of Information said that it will form a special committee to outline a plan for the educational TV programs.
The new committee will also study the availability of terrestrial and satellite channels along with radio stations.
The statement added that the committee will work on offering the satellite channels in question at affordable prices by coordinating with the concerned authorities.
The Ministry of Information also promised to provide the Ministry of Higher Education with the needed technical support to broadcast their educational programs.
The Ministry of Information also offered to help any university interested in producing its own educational programs.
Last week in a joint meeting between the People’s Assembly’s education and health committees, head of the education committee at the Tagammu party Raafat Seif urged the Ministry of Education to further postpone schools until they are well prepared with water resources and clean sewage systems, which some schools still lack.
However, on Sunday El-Gamal confirmed that schools will start on Oct. 3 as scheduled, with no further delays.
Health Minister Hatem El-Gabaly said that postponing the start of the academic year is unnecessary “because children will not stay at home anyway, and will go out to play and mingle with other kids.
In a related note, Minister of Social Solidarity Ali Moselhi said that his ministry will supervise both the public and private daycare centers to ensure that all the regulations set by Ministry of Education are applied.
Moselhi said that daycare centers will be closed down should one H1N1 case appear, but he still maintained that he is against postponing the start of the academic year.
By press time, the Ministry of Health said that the total number of H1N1 cases in Egypt reached 959 with new 16 cases detected Wednesday morning.
Of the 16 new cases, 13 are Egyptians, four of whom arrived from Saudi Arabia and five related to previously related cases.
The remaining three cases are of foreigners who recently arrived to Egypt from the US, the Emirates and England.
According to the ministry, the number of recovered cases reached 818.