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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Senate opposes Thanaweya Amma 2.0, Shawky defends planned overhaul

Senate votes against proposed Thanaweya Amma overhaul in general assembly: Proposed legislative amendments that would have changed the assessment model for Thanaweya Amma were rejected by Egypt’s upper house of parliament yesterday, according to Youm7. The changes would have seen students assessed for their Thanaweya Amma degree based on the average of their end-of-year grades over the three years of secondary school instead of their exam scores in the final “certificate year.” Senators argue the changes — which would allow students to resit exams for EGP 5k per subject — contravene the constitutional right to education at no charge. A report by the Senate Education Committee also cited concerns over the integrity of electronic exams, which would be allowed under the amendments.

Reminder: The Senate’s vote is not binding. The bill, alongside the committee report, should now make its way to the House of Representatives, the country’s lower house of parliament. The bill will eventually make its way to the floor of the House for a plenary vote on whether to send it to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for signature.

Education Minister Tarek Shawky criticized the Senate committee report that served as the basis for the plenary-session vote, arguing that students already pay huge sums to private tutors under the current system, which he says is in need of a major facelift. Shawky blamed parents for opposing the changes in order to maintain the status quo and ensure a familiar route to university for their children. The minister also gave his two cents in a phone-in with El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 3:51).

OTHER LEGISLATION NEWS-

The House Legislation Committee has greenlit proposed amendments to the Disabilities Act that would, if passed in a final vote, toughen penalties for those convicted of bullying persons with special needs. Under the changes, those convicted of group bullying or mistreatment of people with disabilities could be subject to up to three years in prison and fines of up to EGP 200k. The Senate signed off on the amendments earlier this month.

Nurseries will be treated as MSMEs, granting them eligibility for all incentives available under the MSMEs Act under new directives from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement. These include tax markdowns to a rate of 1% of the total growth in sales per year. The president also instructed his government to continue giving unlicensed nurseries temporary licenses until they complete the necessary paperwork.

A bill regulating blood donation and the manufacturing and collection of plasma is now law of the land after being greenlit by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Al Shorouk reports.

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