Minister of Education Tarek Shawqi - Creative Commons Via Wikimedia
CAIRO – 4 September 2017: Education Minister Tarek Shawqi is working regularly and has no intention of resigning in light of controversial statements attributed to him during an interview with a national newspaper, Education Ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Khairy said on Monday.
Earlier, a number of teachers working for the Education Ministry had expressed their anger at Shawqi’s statements on means of developing and funding education.
The national newspaper quoted Shawqi as claiming, “Half the numbers of teachers in his ministry are “bluffs”, while the other half are not qualified;” adding, “Teachers are only seeking to increase their salaries, the ministry does not need such teachers who do not go to work but ask for appointments and bonuses.”
In the attributed statements, Shawqi also criticized teachers who submit a “leave without salary” for few months after their appointment to be free for tuitions and private classes, emphasizing that this contradicts the Education Ministry’s goals in implementing the new educational system.
These statements caused anger among teachers who called for filling lawsuits against the minister, on social media.
For its part, the Education Ministry denied on Saturday these statements clarifying that Shawqi expressed his anger at these wrong statements which caused rift between him and Egyptian teachers.
The Education Ministry added that Shawqi felt very sorry for these attempts targeting to destroy what he had achieved with teachers.
The ministry clarified the real intent of Shawqi’s statements saying, “There is probably an excessive numbers of teachers, like any institution in Egypt, yet it is not proper to describe them as ‘bluffs’.”
Meanwhile, the ministry also clarified Shawqi’s statement on teachers’ being unqualified, saying, “Teachers need more training courses to be more qualified and to be able to adapt to the new system of education”.
The ministry’s spokesman said that Shawqi’s statements did not intend to insult teachers; on the contrary, he meant that teachers need to be more qualified in order to be able to interact with the new education system.
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