FILE: Students of a primary school in North Sinai - Egypt Today / Mohamed Hussein
CAIRO – 13 February 2018: The Ministry of Education has taken several steps to help students continue their studies in North Sinai, which had been temporarily suspended due to the full-scale operation against militants in North and Central Sinai.
Officials at the Ministry of Education stressed that educational caravans will be provided for high school students in the coming period after the situation stabilizes in North Sinai.
They noted, however, that it would be difficult for the ministry to allocate special exams and questions for them, as the high school exams should be unified across Egypt, indicating that the ministry has no intention to minimize their curriculum in North Sinai.
Furthermore, the ministry will facilitate for students who are willing to take their exams in other governorates.
As for the mainstream students, the officials said that the ministry will reconsider the ways to redistribute the curriculum, and the ministry will break all the barriers facing students regarding both curriculum and exams.
In this regard, Deputy Minister of Education Ahmed el-Gioushy remarked that the ministry will take all the necessary measures to provide equal opportunities for all students across Egypt taking the technical diploma exams.
Schools in North Sinai have been suspended several times due to the terrorist groups attempting to destabilize North Sinai. In October 2017, schools in Al-Arish, North Sinai were evacuated after terrorist groups targeted security posts and a national bank, causing some clashes between the armed forces and the terrorists.
Consequently, to ensure stability in North Sinai and other governorates, Egypt launched a large-scale security operation early Friday morning – involving land, sea and air forces – in various areas across Egypt, including North Sinai, the Western Desert and the Nile Delta region. “The comprehensive security operation Sinai 2018 is targeting terrorist and criminal elements and organizations,” said army spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifaai in a televised statement on Friday.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi authorized the army chief of staff to use “all brute force” against terrorism, and he gave security forces a three-month deadline to restore stability to North Sinai.
Presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said the Sinai 2018 operation is a result of a series of military efforts and investigations since 2013.
Security forces have been fighting an Islamist insurgency based in North Sinai since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. These terrorist groups have been targeting security forces by attacking military and police checkpoints, particularly in North Sinai.