The Administrative Court declined jurisdiction in the case of "raising the education budget" and EIPR prepares to appeal to the Supreme Administrative court
On Saturday, February 26, the Administrative Court of Justice issued a ruling in appeal No. 22475 of 75 BC, submitted by the EIPR lawyer, Alaa Farouk against the President of the Republic and others, on the negative decision not to increase public spending on education to reach the percentage established in accordance with the current constitution, in his capacity as the natural guardian of his daughter, who is a student in the preparatory stage in a school in Giza Governorate. The verdict stated, "The court ruled it has no jurisdiction over the case."
EIPR had submitted this appeal before the administrative court in an attempt to compel the government to fulfill its constitutional obligations stipulated in Article 19 of the Egyptian Constitution, which obligated the government to allocate “a percentage of the gross national product not less than 4% for spending on compulsory education up to the secondary level, to be gradually increased to reach global rates. The aforementioned article entered into force three years after the approval of the current constitution in a popular referendum in 2014, to become binding on the government, starting from the budget of the fiscal year 2016/2017.
In its memo, EIPR stated that during previous years the Egyptian government was going in its spending in a completely opposite direction to its constitutional obligations, taking into account the official trend of austerity, that reflects on education sector, and on the attempt to increase revenues through the expansion of consumption taxes paid directly by citizens, such as the value-added tax, or raising the value of many fees collected from citizens for certain services.
During the past year, the government allocated 2.3% of the gross national product to both pre-university and higher education combined, and, in the current fiscal year, the percentage reached 2.4%. Thus, the allocation to education sector as a whole (before university and higher) is less than half the percentage set by the constitution for the two sectors, which is 6% of gross national product. In order to meet the percentage set by the constitution, the government should have increased the amount allocated to pre-university education alone, about 255 billion pounds, in order to reach the stipulated spending percentage of 4% (the required amount is equivalent to about 19% of the out-of-pocket tax money that the government has already collected during the year mentioned).
The legal memo added that the decline in public spending on education was reflected in the per capita share, and thus on the availability and quality of the educational service. In Giza governorate, where the applicant resides, and according to the annual statistics book of the Ministry of Education, the per capita public expenditure on education in 2017-2018 fiscal year did not exceed the amount of 2000 pounds. This amount is supposed to cover all the costs of the educational process for one student in one year at the pre-university level.
EIPR is waiting for the court to submit the reasons for its ruling so that its lawyers can appeal that ruling before the Supreme Administrative Court.