Increased cost of education upsets Egyptian parents

Tourists shop in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt, in this August 21, 2017 photo. (Reuters)
Updated 15 September 2017

Increased cost of education upsets Egyptian parents

CAIRO: Parents across Egypt are up in arms over increased tuition fees and a rise in the cost of school supplies, as children prepare to return to the classroom after their summer break.
Parents interviewed by Arab News argued that the increased cost of school items, uniforms, transport and fees had got to the point where they were now feeling “exploited,” claiming the cost of everything had doubled.
“I transferred my son from his school after they had increased their tuition and transportation fees this year,” parent Dina El-Sheribini said.
Nada Ahmad complained about her child’s transportation fees.  
“In addition to the annual tuition fee increase, my son’s bus payment witnessed a 50 percent increase this year,” she said.
Regarding the prices of school items, El-Sherbini said: “The cost of school bags has doubled compared to last year.”
Ahmad added: “I’ve seen bags that at least would cost from 200 ($11) to 1,000 Egyptian pounds.”
Hanan, who has two sons, said that the cheapest school bags cost 200 Egyptian pounds “despite their poor quality.”
“When it comes to stationery, the cost is much higher compared to last year,” she added.
Ahmad said: “It’s this time of the year when parents feel most exploited. They have to cope with an increase in everything, not only school supplies and school installments, but also the prices of goods increase during this time.”
Egyptian TV show host Amr Adib explained how bad it must be for parents with low incomes by showcasing school items at their lowest prices on his show. The host concluded that a family with a low income would have to pay around 800 Egyptian pounds per child to buy everything they need for school.
It was reported on social media recently that angry parents stormed the campus of a high-end German private school in New Cairo due to an increase in fees.
To add to the feeling of discontent, an Egyptian actress posted a video on social media in which she was ranting to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi over the hike in prices of private schools.
In May, the Education Ministry announced that international school fees will increase 14 percent for the 2017-2018 school year and then another 7 percent per year.


UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

Updated 30 October 2020

UK summons Iran envoy as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces return to jail

  • Husband Richard Ratcliffe: Iran has ordered Nazanin to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen”

LONDON: Britain on Friday warned Iran against throwing detained woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe back in jail, after hauling in Tehran’s envoy for a dressing-down over her emotive case.
The Foreign Office summoned Ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad on Thursday to hear renewed demands from a senior official for an end to the British-Iranian captive’s “arbitrary detention.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC radio Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in a “horrific position,” after her husband said Iran has ordered her to report to court for a new trial on Monday and then back to jail.
Britain has made it clear to Iran “that is entirely unjustified and totally unacceptable and must not happen,” Raab said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who will turn 42 on Boxing Day, has been on temporary release from Tehran’s Evin prison and under house arrest since earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She has spent more than four years in jail, or under house arrest, since being detained in the Iranian capital in April 2016 while visiting relatives with her young daughter.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — denied charges of sedition but was convicted and jailed for five years.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spent more than four years in jail, or under house arrest, since being detained in the Iranian capital in April 2016. (AFP)

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said this week that the Foreign Office’s handling of the case “seems disastrous,” and that “the UK is dancing to Iran’s tune.”
Raab told the BBC: “We’ve made it very clear we want to try to put the relationship between the UK and Iran on a better footing.
“If Nazanin is returned to prison, that will of course put our discussions and the basis of those discussions in a totally different place. It is entirely unacceptable.”
Richard Ratcliffe linked the latest development to the postponement of a hearing that was due to take place on Tuesday in London to address Iran’s longstanding demand for the repayment by Britain of hundreds of millions from an old military equipment order.
“As Nazanin’s husband, I do think that if she’s not home for Christmas, there’s every chance this could run for years,” he said, accusing Iran of “hostage diplomacy.”