CAIRO: Teachers protested Monday in front of the Ministry of Education building against the death of six exam proctors due to "difficult" working conditions, demanding the resignation of the minister.
The sixth death was reported Monday of a 45-year-old proctor in Qalyobia governorate while supervising a thanawyia amma (Egyptian national secondary school certificate) exam at Hassan Abu Bakr School in Al Qanater Al Khairya. It was the first death case outside Upper Egypt.
"The minister doubled [teachers’] work hours despite the extreme weather during a month that has the longest day-time in the whole year," Abdel Hafez Tayel, member of the Founding Committee of the Independent Teachers Syndicate, told Daily News Egypt.
Requests by teachers to be relieved of exam supervising duties for medical reasons were not accepted by the minister, Tayel claimed.
Medical aid available to teachers was also questioned. Ahmed Mohamed Akef, 40, was reportedly left for five hours without receiving any medical help inside the examination hall until he passed away.
Tayel said that hospitals refused to treat teachers before payment, “so we are demanding the resignation of the ministers of health and education and their trial."
Protestors were joined by administrative employees who were protesting against a new decision that conditioned a 50 percent bonus on budget surplus. The administrative staff of the education ministry were not included in its relatively new system of pay raises, applicable to teachers.
"The decision is a comic one because no educational directorate in Egypt can afford this bonus except the ministry’s main directorate," said Amin Meshref, a protesting administrative employee.
According to Meshref, there is already a LE 1.5 million deficit in part of the budget allocated to employee appointment.
"The decision is nothing but an attempt to delay the fulfillment of our demands and [is offensive to us],” he said, adding that they are demanding allocating part of the budget exclusively to their pay increases.
Administrative employees are also demanding the establishment of an independent syndicate for them.