Egypt bans wearing niqab in schools, while hijab is optional

The Egyptian government has decided to ban the wearing of the face cover “niqab” inside schools during the upcoming academic year which begins September 30th.

Egypt’s Minister of Education, Reda Hegazy, has confirmed that head covering “hijab” is optional, provided that it does not obscure the student’s face. Schools are expected to adhere to the colour chosen by the relevant educational directorate.

The minister further stated that the legal guardian should be aware of their daughter’s choice to wear a hijab. Her decision should be made based on her own will, without any pressure or coercion from anyone or any entity other than the legal guardian. Verification of the parent’s awareness of this decision is required.

The ministry has instructed the education directorates in the provinces to verify the legal guardian’s awareness of their daughter’s decision, emphasizing that concerning the determination of the uniform color, the school’s board of directors, in coordination with the board of trustees, parents, and teachers, will collaborate to choose the appropriate school uniform color for both boys and girls. The decision issued by the relevant educational directorate will be adopted.

The ministerial decision states that the aim of the standardized school uniform for all male and female students within schools is to demonstrate the organization and discipline of the students within the school environment.

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