Despite the deficiency 36,000 teachers have been fired

Thousands of Egyptian activists launched an electronic campaign calling for the return of 36,000 teachers to their work after the Ministry of Education ended their service last year. There was a state of anger among teachers whose temporary contracts ended.

The teachers denounced the decision not to renew their contracts which started in February 2019, despite the fact that they passed all the tests and training as well as preparing the required documents that cost them large sums of money. The teachers launched many hashtags on social media to denounce the decision not to renew their contracts and to demand a return to work, especially after they left their previous jobs and devoted themselves to working as teachers in the Ministry of Education.

36,000 teachers

The story of the 36,000 teachers dates back to 2019, when the Ministry of Education announced in February a competition to assign 36,000 teachers with temporary contracts, and the required number was chosen out of more than 120,000 teachers who submitted their papers for the competition. In April of the same year, that is, two months after the start of applications, teachers received the temporary work that lasted for two or three months at most. Through the communication platforms, the contracted teachers complained of not renewing their contracts and terminating their services despite their distinguished performance during the work period and their contribution to alleviating the burden on their fellow teachers appointed to schools.

The teachers launched several appeals to the officials, who clarified that the contracting procedures cost them a great deal of time and effort, in addition to each applicant spending around EGP 3,000.

Attacking the minister

The Minister of Education received a large share of the teachers’ complaints, as they considered him the main cause of the crisis and that he is the one who issued the decision to sack them, despite the fact there is a shortage of up to 30,000 teachers in Egypt. Others considered that sabotaging education, eliminating government schools, and insulting teachers is a systematic action by the Egyptian government, starting with the reduction of education and health allocations in the state’s general budget. Teachers and activists also attacked the minister’s procedures and curriculum amendments in the name of e-learning (remotely) development, while others mentioned statements made by General al-Sisi when he said: “What can education [do] in a lost country?”

The education system in Egypt suffers from many crises, most notably the teacher’s deficit in all disciplines, in addition to a large number of students crowded in classes, the collapse of school infrastructure, and the low salaries of teachers. The crisis of the 36,000 teachers prompted a number of parliamentarians to sympathise with the fired teachers, and they competed to submit briefing requests and interrogations to the Minister of Education on this issue.

Wasting public money

Deputies considered that the decision to terminate the service of teachers and not to renew them, after their training, is a waste of public money by the Ministry of Education.

Magda Nasr, Undersecretary of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives, said in press statements that dispensing with 36,000 teachers without taking into account the implications on the educational system or on teachers and their families, is wrong. She asked, “After training them and spending on that how were they dispensed with with such ease? This matter is a waste of the public money that the state spent to prepare them, and the ministries of education and finance must provide a clear explanation for this.” She considered that the decision will have negative impact at all educational levels, in addition to affecting the families of teachers negatively, as they will join the unemployed.