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Petition to the education minister

Youseef Sidhom | 6 June 2010

 We are approaching the Thanawiya Amma examinations, the final examinations for the secondary school stage, which qualify students for enrolment in universities. The event calls for huge administrative preparations nationwide. Adequate staff must be found to invigilate and supervise the exams, and to mark the papers and check the score. Since controlling the supervision, marking and scoring processes is a particularly arduous, sensitive, and confidential operation, the Education Minister Ahmed Zaky Badr has issued a collection of strict rules that have to apply to the person who handles that job. Among these rules is the condition that the person in charge of the control operation should have no relation—up to the fourth degree—to any Thanawiya Amma student. The condition is understandable in the sense that it secures the utmost impartiality and fairness of the exam results. The outcome, however, was that some of the senior control positions became vacant and have to be filled by second-tier staff who had been pre-nominated for these positions in case they were needed as extra staff. I have before me a letter form Emad Sidhom Morqos from Assiut who wishes to raise a petition to the Education Minister. Mr Morqos heads the public relations department of Assiut education directorate and is also the head of the syndicate committee of persons working in the education field and member of the local government of Assiut. Mr Morqos, who has behind him 25 years of service in the education field and impressive recommendations by all his superiors and the relevant administrative and control officials, was among the extra staff nominated to fill the senior control positions should any become vacant. He therefore expected to be automatically assigned to the post of senior control manager of Sector A in Assiut when this post was available. To the amazement of Mr Morqos, this was not to be, and someone else with inferior credentials was appointed to the post.For Mr Morqos, it was a case of flagrant injustice. He submitted complaints to all the relevant authorities in Assiut, and obtained letters confirming his superior eligibility to the post. He forwarded these letters to the manager of the public examination authority in Assiut and to the Education Minister Ahmed Zaky Badr.I, in turn, raise Mr Morqos’s petition to the Education Minister. Even though we all pin our hopes upon Dr Badr to rescue the education system from the corruption and backwardness it has drifted into over the past decades, we well know how daunting this task is. Over and above, Assiut poses a special challenge since it stands as a stronghold of fanaticism and discrimination. It is time to confront such challenges which, whether on the school or university levels, have been too long placed on hold.

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