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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Are we finally getting serious about fixing a broken education system that hobbles the nation?

We expected more from the talking heads on the surge in Egypt’s foreign reserves, but at least it made the headlines. But talking heads were (understandably) more interested in dissecting the newly proposed restructuring of the nation’s education system. (We have full coverage of both stories in Speed Round, below.)

On Hona Al Asema, Lamees Al Hadidi said the reserves rose largely due to government sales of debt instruments and bonds, but are still expected to have a positive impact on Egypt’s credit rating and FX rates (watch, runtime 5:41).

Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib also touched on the reserves — with far less grace than his better half, contenting himself with questioning why the USD exchange rate and prices of consumer goods haven’t magically dropped as a result of the record-high reserves (watch, runtime 1:20). Someone needs to be run through a remedial economics class in the new thanaweya amma system.

Speaking of which: The star of the night was Tarek Shawki. Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal spoke to the education minister about the new system that will replace thanaweya amma. The traditional system (which is now exiting stage right) killed any chance students would ever innovate, Shawki said. Under the new system, he added, students will be evaluated based on both coursework and exams, rather than just the latter (watch, runtime 13:42).

Shawki also rang up Lamees, telling her (in part) that primary-level certificates awarded after sixth grade are being scrapped because they are of no value to a child’s education, but require significant budget outlays (watch, runtime 13:02).

Lamees dedicated a large chunk of last night’s episode — her last before she goes off vacation for the month — to covering hepatitis C treatment efforts. More than 680k patients were treated between September 2015 and December 2016, according to the deputy head of the National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis, Yehia El Shazly (watch, runtime: 3:56). Most cases treated with Sovaldi were successful, committee member Emam Waked said (watch, runtime: 1:00).

Back on Kol Youm, Adib zeroed in on waste management, lambasting the government for its “failed” recycling projects and calling on the private sector to take over (watch, runtime 2:46). Adib spoke to MP and House Local Development Committee member Mohamed Attia, who gave him the low-down on a government proposal to establish a solid waste management holding company (watch, runtime: 5:28).

On Yahduth Fi Masr, Sherif Amer hosted record-breaking swimmer Farida Osman to talk about her snagging Egypt’s first-ever world medal. Osman said she’s looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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