MB Parliamentarians Voice Concern Over 2nd Stage of Teachers’ Special Cadre

The issue of “the Special Cadre” is considered one of the controversial files recently debated among Egyptian teachers. This file was highlighted in the election manifesto of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2005 presidential elections. However, no tangible action has been taken to apply such a measure.
The Education Committee in the People’s Assembly introduced 3 essential amendments to the bill of “teachers’ special cadre”,  and decided to cancel 15 articles from this bill, claiming  they are needless stuff. It was approved by the Shura council before approving it permanently on Tuesday in the People’s Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament .
The new amendments included adding service jobs aiding the educational process to the cadre bill, including: psychiatric and social workers, librarians, technology and press and media specialists, technical supervisors, school administration workers.
The amendments included also rescinding articles incriminating private lessons, and punishing any teacher giving them, an article that the Ministry of Education introduced to the bill and it even demanded dismissing any teacher giving private lessons to his pupils .
Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the People’s Assembly speaker, who headed the meeting of the Education Committee, described private lessons as a defect in the educational process, not a defect in the teacher. The country should care for developing the educational process so as to eradicate this phenomenon .
A new article was added to the bill law, pointing out to that the above mentioned categories of workers participating in the educational process other than teachers, are under the new law apply like schoolteacher According to the amendment that the committee introduced into article 70 the bill applies on current and coming workers.
The committee introduced an amendment to article 81 that a teacher shall be promoted from a degree to a higher degree after remaining 5 years in this degree, not 6 like the past.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al Beltagi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc said about the latest amendments to the bill of ” teachers special cadre” that the first stages of this law were not good because they had no direct relation with improving the educational process or even improving teachers conditions. But this changed after the amendments introduced in the latest sessions after canceling articles that include the system of punishments.
Al Beltagi added in a statement to Ikhwanweb that:” The current improvements regarding the financial status of the teachers along with other workers in the educational process are the crux of the issue. This is what we aspire to because improving the teachers’ standard of living and financial condition can undoubtedly have a good effect on the educational process as a whole. Therefore, there should be a focus on improving teachers conditions.”
Dr. Mohamed Al Beltagi voiced his concern over the second stage, saying:” We still know nothing about the second stage, after establishing an academy that qualifies and prepares teachers.
Al Beltagi said that:” the second part from the bill is a disputed point. It is related to the financial timetable of the minimum limit of the teachers salaries. It is currently certain that there will be only 50% increase on the basic salary. This law is expected to be enacted starting from July/ 1st, 2007.  We proposed and demanded raising this increase in salary but this suggestion was rejected . The second part of the bill is postponed. After distributing teachers on various job ranks, the salaries schedule should be based on two main rules (that the teachers had a stable financial ceiling and that there should be a proper minimum increase in his salary. This is because this basic salary is in most cases to little and can’t meet the current conditions for leading a decent life. These issues will be discussed in later sessions .”
“We want the salary increase to be more than this, and we will try to achieve such increases on July, 1st, 2008”, Al Beltagi added.
Asked about his opinion regarding the amendments canceling private lessons-related articles, Dr. Al- Beltagi said:” The cause of this phenomenon (private lessons) isn’t the teacher alone. Teachers and all the society are blamed for it. This is due to the failure of the educational process as a whole. Schools lack required capabilities. Teachers’ rights aren’t observed. Salaries are not, most of the time, enough for them to teach only inside the schools and give students all their right of detailed explanations. Teachers are forced to give private lessons and families are forced to resort to private lessons making their houses become like private schools. Many MPs are happy about this amendment that cancels incriminating private lessons. “
Dr Mohammed summed up saying:” The Muslim Brotherhood has a real system of reform for the educational system as a whole. We hope that this takes shape so soon .”