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Sunday, 18 October 2020

Egypt’s talk shows: New academic year kicks off, Osama Heikal feuding with talking heads, Senate’s first day in session

Unfolding last night: Information Minister Osama Heikal appears to be in a war of words with the nation’s talking heads and other media figures after suggesting that the majority of those aged below 35 in the country no longer watches television and instead relies on other media for their daily dose of news. Al Tasea Masa’an’s Wael Ebrashy went on a lengthy tirade, accusing Heikal of falling short in addressing issues facing the country’s media landscape (watch, runtime 16:52). Youm7 honcho Khaled Salah also took to Twitter (the irony of which is not lost on us in this context) to criticize Heikal for “sitting back and watching” the situation. The minister issued a statement suggesting that media personalities are acting on unspecified “orders” to launch a campaign against him.

Also from Planet Media: Egyptian media outlets have until 24 November to comply with licensing regulations set by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation under the 2018 Press and Media Act, according to a statement. Under the regs, all outlets are also required to pay EGP 50k-250k for a five-year license, we noted when the law was passing through the House of Representatives.

The start of the new academic year at public and national schools and universities also got some airtime yesterday. Each of Egypt’s 60k schools has its own schedule and policies to implement the new hybrid model, but parents can phone into a ministry call center to lodge complaints and concerns regarding schools, Education Minister Tarek Shawki told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib. The minister also chatted with Adib about tuition fees at public schools, which he noted parents can pay in two or four installments (watch, runtime: 10:18).

The ministry has a video recapping what the new academic year will look like under the new model that will see students learning the core curriculum primarily through state-owned educational channel “Madrasetna” and several other platforms (watch, runtime: 2:32). A new one-stop shop platform that brings together a range of services including educational channels, an e-library, and an e-lesson and private tutoring platforms is also available for students now, Shawki said, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

Special low-cost internet packages will also be available for university students to access educational platforms within days, Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 11:51).

Members of the Senate will begin today’s inaugural session by electing a secretary general and two undersecretaries for the chamber, acting SecGen Mahmoud Etman told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal. The session will be aired live on television, Etman said (watch, runtime: 6:49).

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry signing an MoU for political consultations with his Spanish counterpart was on the agenda for Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 6:11), who had a chat with Egypt’s Ambassador to Spain, Omar Selim, for his two cents (watch, runtime: 4:38) and Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 1:29).

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