Egyptian politicians voiced concerns Saturday over the start of the school year amid continued turmoil in the country since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
Education Minister Mahmoud Aboul Nasr has decided to start the school year on September 21. Last week, the minister said that the government has no intention to delay opening the schools.
Aboul Nasr added that his ministry coordinates with Interior Ministry and Ministry of Defense to help secure schools and universities.
However, politicians have growing concerns over starting the school year, especially in university campuses, against the backdrop of the current political tensions.
Some politicians expect the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated students to stage protests against ousting Morsi.
Tarek Zidan, chairman of the Egyptian Revolution Party, said that students should enjoy their right to express their thoughts as long as they have not turned to violence.
Tarek told the liberal Al-Wafd Newspaper that the Muslim Brotherhood’s students may organize protests in campuses after they have failed to rally people in the public squares.
Security expert Abdel-Rahman Sayed said that the situation inside campuses may further deteriorate, referring to 2010 court ruling barring security personnel from university campuses.
Ain Shams University Student Union’s president, Karim Bilal, objected police handling of protests inside campuses. Bilal stressed the need for confronting Brotherhood-affiliated students through raising the students’ political awareness.
On the other hand, the decision of the Minister of High Education, last week, granting the administrative security within the campuses the power to arrest raised concerns over a new possible wave of crackdown on students.
The state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported that students reject the decision, suggesting it may lead to a set of problems. They say, according to Ahram, that the decision came to undermine students’ freedoms.
President of Ain-Shams University Hussien Eissa said the decision will not be used to undermine freedom of expression. He added that the administrative security will intervene only to prevent any riots or acts of violence inside the campus.