STUDENTS at Egyptian universities will not physically attend lectures at faculties on a daily basis, according to Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.
As part of the precautionary measures for the upcoming academic year, students at theory-based faculties will attend classes for two or three days weekly while students at practical colleges will attend for three or four days weekly.
During a televised interview on Saturday, Abdel Ghaffar revealed the measures taken to implement a hybrid education system for the new 2020-2021 academic year. He said that his ministry has taken all precautionary measures in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The hybrid system, which merges face-to-face and distance education systems, will oblige students to also attend weekly virtual classes in addition to those that they physically attend.
As students will go into faculties for no more than four days a week, the universities will be able to divide students into smaller groups in order to reduce student density in classes.
Despite the lower in-person attendance, Abdel Ghaffar said that student will be able to access the knowledge aspect from attending actual classes, in addition to some other skills through distance education.
The minister indicated that the hybrid system’s aim is to reduce student density, especially given that there are now as many as 3 million students and academic staff across the country.
He added that university lecture halls will apply all the required precautionary measures, including sterilisation and disinfection of different areas and laboratories before a laboratory or practical classes, as well as sports activities and tests.
Abdel Ghaffar said that higher education differs from school level education, with every university having its own system. He also said that the number of students at theoretical facilities is twice that of students in practical colleges.
He stressed that the universities will enforce the wearing of face masks for students and academic staff before entering facilities.
The minister explained that each faculty will shortly announce guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding preventive measures to be taken by students and staff.