Supreme Council of Universities Confirms in Its Regular Meeting Resumption of Studies and Conducting of Examinations amid Strict Precautionary Measures
At the headquarters of Helwan University in Cairo, the Supreme Council of Universities held its regular meeting on Saturday morning, February 20, 2021, headed by Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and attended by Dr. Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education and Technical Education, Dr. Mohammed Lotayef, Secretary General of the Council, and members of the Council.
The Council confirmed the start of the second semester and the completion of the postponed examinations of the first semester on Saturday, February 27 according to the decision of the Crisis Management Committee of the cabinet of Ministers. Studies are to be resumed, and the exam works are to be completed in accordance with systems, regulations and schedules announced by institutes and university faculties.
The Council stressed that faculty members, their assistants and working staff should be committed to the announced schedules of faculties and institutes to ensure the proper conduct of examinations and the educational process.
The Council also stressed that all precautionary measures should be adhered to and the role of crisis committees in universities and institutes should be activated to follow up on all procedures and ensure the safety of students, faculty, and working staff.
The Council affirmed that hybrid education system- a system combining between students' attendance on campus and online education- should be applied. Reducing the number of students in classrooms and practical training laboratories should be observed to achieve social distancing. Student attendance should conform to the previous decisions of the Supreme Council of Universities which stipulate that students of theoretical faculties should not be on campus for more than two days per week, and students of practical faculties between 3 to 4 days per week, depending on the nature of study in different faculties and institutes with an emphasis on adherence to all necessary regulations for prevention inside teaching and training halls.
The Council approved that universities and institutes should extend the current academic year for a period of three weeks in principle for the completion of the study plan for scientific specializations.
The council also approved that students who are afraid of taking exams due to the current circumstances of the Corona pandemic can submit a request to apologize for taking all the exams scheduled for the first semester before the start of the exams. In this case, the student is treated as students submitting acceptable excuses in accordance with Article 80 of the Executive Statutes of the University Organization Law.
As for students who are confirmed to be infected with the new corona virus, they must submit a medical report approved by the concerned medical authority at the university. In this case, it is possible to apologize for examinations that coincide only with the period of infection of the student according to what is determined by the medical report. The student is allowed to sit for other exams.
Major General Mohammed Salman Al-Zomlout, Governor of the New Valley, gave a presentation at the council meeting in which he offered to allocate an area of 200 acres for each university to maximize the acre production of strategic crops through scientific research.
The Council witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Supreme Council of Universities and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank, which was signed by Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, representing the Supreme Council of Universities, and Dr. Tarek Shawky, representing the Egyptian Knowledge Bank. The memorandum stipulates the operation of the e-learning platform which provides many distinctive services among which are specialized educational programs services, as well as a unified system for scientific publishing of Egyptian scientific periodicals according to scientific standards. The platform also contains examination systems and a question bank which help in improving the performance of online tests, using the super monitoring unit to monitor exams and students' performance.
The Council also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Electronic and Knowledge Services Center at the Supreme Council of Universities and Al-Alfi Foundation for Human and Social Development regarding the operation of Egada platform, in line with the initiative of the President of the Republic entitled "Craftsmen of Egypt", which aims to train and qualify owners of professions such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity and other crafts. The memorandum stipulates the cooperation of the two parties in operating the electronic platform and providing the necessary training programs for the digital transformation of the Egyptian society and industry, in addition to providing training content and developing it.
The Board approved the following during its meeting:
- Establishing a branch of Suez University in Abordis City, South Sinai Governorate, including faculties of Education, Arts, Science, and Commerce.
- The Council approved the launch of Best University Competition for the academic year 2020/2021, which will include the competition for the best environmentally friendly university, the competition for the best university in the field of applied projects related to society, and the competition for the best university in published applied research in terms of innovation and industry relatedness.
- The council agreed to perform capacity tests for students who obtained equivalent certificates (Arab and foreign) and who applied to join the second semester of faculties of Egyptian state universities which require passing capacity tests for enrolment.
- The Council approved exempting postgraduate students working in the Ministry of Health and studying in faculties of nursing and dentistry from the 3 month sabbatical leave requirement in order to contribute to the fight against Corona virus.