Gov’t denies validity of directive jailing students for ‘insulting’ flag
Archived picture of students standing in a line at a school - YOUM7/Amr Moustafa

CAIRO: The Ministry of Education Friday denied media reports of a directive issued to punish schoolchildren with imprisonment for moving during morning flag salutes.

Ministry of Education spokesperson Hani Kamal told The Cairo Post Friday, “It is illogical that a student would be imprisoned for one year and fined 30,000 EGP ($4,200) because he moved during the flag salute.”

Thursday, media reports quoted a bulletin claimed to be issued by the Dakahlia Education Directorate meant to apply a 2014 presidential decree. The bulletin promised judicial punishments for students “insulting” the Egyptian flag.

Kamal said he was “skeptical” of the bulletin and that its veracity had not been confirmed by the ministry.

As the claimed directive is believed to be reiterating the presidential decree, Kamal added, “There is no presidential decree saying a student would be jailed for moving during the national anthem.”

Mohamed Saad, the supervisor of the General Education Sector, told Youm7 Friday the released bulletin was just a “rumor,” and that the presidential decree has not been applied to students.

“Any new instructions or decisions should be first referred to the Ministry of Education before issuance,” he added.

Saad said he had personally phoned the director of the Dakahlia Education Directorate, Mohamed Medhat, who denied all reports about the bulletin.

The reports of the potential imprisonment of school children come as the Ministry of Education is already under fire for a string of three separate incidents in which students have been killed at public schools in October due to faulty maintenance and being run over by a vehicle delivering school meals.

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