ICT Minister, Telecom Operators Heads meet on e-learning for Students

The participants at the meetingThe participants at the meeting

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EGYPT: The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat recently met with the heads of the four telecommunication operators, operating in the Egyptian ICT sector to discuss launching initiatives for supporting education, as school and university have been suspended as a precautionary measure taken by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and the General Secretariat Sector Head at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Raafat Hindy, the Executive President of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Hossam El-Gamal, the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Hala El Gohary, Telecom Egypt (TE) Managing Director and CEO Adel Hamed, Orange CEO Yasser Shaker, Vodafone Egypt CEO Alexandre Froment-Curtil and Etisalat CEO Hazem Metwally.

Talaat said that MCIT is coordinating with both the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to support e-learning for all the students’ benefit. He underlined the significance of synergizing efforts between NTRA and the telecommunication operators, and the constant communication to provide the necessary support for the continuation of education for all students nationwide.

During the meeting the participants agreed on the following:

 * Enabling free access to the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research’s websites that provide the educational content needed for the continuation of education and facilitation of e-learning, so parents and students do not bear any additional costs.

* Increasing home internet monthly download quota for all subscribers, by 20%, in coordination with Internet service providers, at a cost of EGP 200 million, borne by the state, thus facilitating access to e-learning and basic services.

* Providing free e-platforms that include the educational content and lectures for school and university students, in collaboration between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education and mobile operators in Egypt, to facilitate e-learning until the crisis is over.

The ICT Minister also called for taking all the preventive measures inside the work environment in telecom companies to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and protect employees from infection.

Moreover, the meeting discussed the international experiences of harnessing technology to ensure the continuation of work and maintain its efficiency, while taking all the precautionary measures to face COVID-19, including banning mass gatherings and staying longer at home, especially others pertaining to e-learning, working from home and online shopping, as well as increasing recourse to mobile payments.