- Life Style
Clashes erupted between protesting students and Ministry of Higher Education security forces on Tuesday in downtown Cairo.
Ministry employees attacked students with fire hoses, powder and rocks to break up their protest that has been going on since 30 May. Two students were taken to the hospital.
The students, who have been protesting on and off for months, are mostly high school graduates calling for the Ministry of Higher Education to lower minimum grades required for acceptance to engineering and commerce schools.
“The minister promised to lower the percentage, but we were surprised that the percentage stayed the same. This is completely unfair for us,” said Mahmoud al-Toughy, one of the protesters.
The Minister of Higher Education has refused to comply with students’ demands to meet with them, they say, which compelled them to declare a sit in.
“We have been at a sit in for nine days and the minister refuses to hear us and follow through on his promises to us,” said Mahmoud Kamel, one of the student protestors.
Most of the students are graduates from technical high schools and universities.
Graduates from technical universities say that a decree from the Supreme Council of Universities in 2007 was supposed to make their degrees equivalent to diplomas from non-technical universities. However, protesters say that the decree has not yet been implemented and is rejected by the ministry.
“The minister has promised to solve our problems, but until now he has not fulfilled his promises,” said Mostafa al-Nahas, a protestor that joined the sit in for 8 days.
An eyewitness, who refused to give his name because he is not an Egyptian citizen, criticized ministry employees for their handling of the protest. “The security has harassed and beat those students,” he said. “This is unacceptable, the revolution hasn’t changed anything.”