Cairo- In less than a week, more than 200 students in Egypt fell ill with food poisoning after eating the school meal prescribed for them by the Ministry of Education, and they were taken to hospitals to receive the necessary medical care.
The governorates to which the schools that witnessed the poisoning cases have taken urgent measures are all linked to the skepticism of school meals as a reason for the poisoning of the students.
Although the Ministry of Education stopped supplying meals to educational departments that witnessed cases of poisoning, until the investigations were completed by the Public Prosecution, Education Minister Tariq Shawqi went out to try to distance the accusations from his ministry, and presented other reasons behind the widespread news about the injury of students.
The beginning was in southern Egypt, where about 160 students in 12 schools in Qena Governorate were infected with food poisoning, yesterday, Tuesday, after eating school meals; This prompted the Supply Department to seize about 2500 cartons containing school meals.
And one day before the poisoning of Qena schoolchildren, 33 schoolchildren in Assiut Governorate schools – which is also located in southern Egypt – were infected with a case of food poisoning, after which they were taken to hospitals to receive the necessary medical care. In view of this, officials in the governorates of Qena and Assiut decided to stop dispensing meals in the schools of the two governorates, and to send samples of school meals to the laboratories of the Ministry of Health in Cairo for analysis.
And the matter was not limited to the south, as 60 schoolchildren in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate (northern Egypt) were poisoned after consuming juices distributed by the school administration as part of the meals prescribed to them.
Pupils in the three governorates are receiving medical care inside hospitals, while a number of them have returned to their homes with their health condition stabilizing.
Brotherhood and revelation
But Tariq Shawky – who used to stir controversy among Egyptians because of his decisions and policies in the field of education – denied the existence of a problem in school meals in the governorates of Qena, Kafr El-Sheikh and Assiut, stressing that school feeding is safe and supervised by two parties: the Ministry of Health and the National Authority for Food Safety of the Presidency of the Republic.
And the Minister of Education said – during a telephone interview with the “On My Responsibility” program broadcast on the “Echo of the Country” channel – that the circulation of news about the poisoning of schoolchildren has been repeated during the past two or three years, and at that time it was confirmed that there were no cases of poisoning, indicating that the issue occurs. suggestively “The student feels sick and goes to the hospital and is sure that there is no poisoning, or the teacher dismisses him and sends the student to the hospital.”
In continuation of the government officials’ approach of accusing the Muslim Brotherhood with every crisis that occurred in the country during the past years, the Minister of Education linked a “group” that was living in Egypt and opposition satellite channels broadcast from outside the country (Al-Sharq and Mekameleen), and what he described as organized operations taking place in In this regard, the minister claimed that there was a party that promised to distribute 500 pounds to each family that sends their son to the hospital, indicating that the security and supervisory agencies are seeking to uncover this.
Tariq Shawky: There is not a single case of poisoning in Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut, and Qena. This is just fatigue, not poisoning, and the people are doing this to get compensation…
_ I swear by God Almighty, if a respectable country would be prosecuted for insulting the Egyptian people, who started to trade their children for compensation 😊
— Dr. Shadeed Awy 😉😉 (@DrShdeeddAwy) November 23, 2021
Tariq Shawky / There are no cases of poisoning, and these allegations are aimed at embarrassing the state, and we all know who lives in our midst. They do this and spread rumors.
Which family will die from meals, brothers?
— MR_Teto (@TetoTm0) November 23, 2021
The governors said there was poisoning and the children went to a hospital, thank God they joined and went to their homes
Tariq Shawky Kdab https://t.co/R7vTuhajJq
— Bossy🇪🇬🏹 (@meraviglia22) November 24, 2021
— @HopeMe (@HopeMe86352142) November 24, 2021
The minister’s accusations extended to the authorities of Assiut Governorate, where he criticized their announcement of poisoning cases before confirming the matter, he said; Which caused confusion, and demanded not to follow the bright headlines that talk about poisoning only after the issuance of the reports of the central laboratories of the Ministry of Health.
The Governor of Qena Ashraf Al-Daoudi – a former army officer with the rank of major general, who previously served as head of the Presidential Office in 2019 – spoke about the suspected poisoning of 17 students at the Joint Primary Sugar Company School in Naga Hammadi, before the number rose to more than 160 students who were transferred to Hospitals for examination and treatment, as two of them suffered from vomiting, and school meals were kept and sent to the central laboratories in Cairo for examination.
The army supplies meals
Last August, Silo Foods, owned by the armed forces, acquired the right to supply meals to Egyptian schools.
In his speech during the opening ceremony of “Silo Foods”, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi referred to previous calls to stop school meals due to cases of poisoning, adding that the state directed to control school meals so that they are in good condition when they reach the students.
وحسب What was reported in the local newspapersSisi added, “We will take care of the shape of the meal that is offered to our children, because the shape is an important part of building the Egyptian character, and with my respect for the pie, if I say take this pie, eat it.. We can offer something that looks better than this, and its content is good, so the student feels that there is interest in it and that it has merit. “.
Al-Sisi stressed that a student’s meal costs 7 pounds, noting that 8 billion pounds (equivalent to 500 million dollars) will be provided to provide school meals.
School feeding programs in government schools target more than 12 million students in about 31,000 schools.
and according A report published by Al-Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper The cost of the school feeding meal for school students is 7.7 billion pounds, and the Ministry of Education provides 170 million biscuits annually to all students in the governorates of the Republic, with the supply of 250 million pastries with pastry.
Akhbar Al-Youm indicated that the school feeding meals consisted of pies and biscuits, and their validity ranged between 6 months and a year.
Member of Parliament Sanaa Al-Saeed submitted an urgent statement to the Minister of Education regarding the safety of school meals in Assiut Governorate. Representative Sahar Sedky also called on the Cabinet to quickly reveal the causes of students’ poisoning and to hold those responsible for these incidents accountable, whether by the Ministry of Education, Health, or the provincial administration.
Parliamentarian Issam Al-Omda suggested – during a briefing request to the minister – canceling school meals and replacing them with a cash payment to be distributed to students on a monthly basis, explaining that the financial compensation will benefit from students who are unable, provided that the guardian who does not want his son to receive the money writes an acknowledgment of this, and it is done Put that money into a fund under the supervision of the school, from which it is spent on school activities and hiring cleaners.
anger and ridicule
As for the pioneers of social networking platforms, they circulated news of the poisoning of schoolchildren with angry comments about endangering the lives of children, with the responsibility of state institutions, especially the army, given that the latter is in control of the supply of school meals.
The poisoning of school children in the governorates of Assiut, Qena and Kafr El-Sheikh after eating school meals, the production and distribution of which were monopolized by the army, is a crime of corruption and an attempt to kill hundreds of children should not be tolerated
The centralization of production, distribution and monopoly reveals a whole series of corruption and irresponsibility
Of course, the officials will not be held accountable pic.twitter.com/DjBoR048VC
— Osama Rushdi (@OsamaRushdi) November 23, 2021
For the third time in less than a week
And after the primary school students in Kafr El-Sheikh and schools in Assiut were poisoned
Today, students at the Sugar Company Primary School in Nagaa Hammadi in Qena Governorate were injured after eating the school meal.
It is known that the army’s “Silo Foods” company supplies school meals and they are above accountability pic.twitter.com/Ef9NjE7S6w
— Muhammad Fikri (@mf66563806) November 23, 2021
— Haytham Abokhalil Haitham Abu Khalil (@haythamabokhal1) November 18, 2021
Source : Egyptian media + The island + Social Media