World Bulletin/News Desk
Students in several Egyptian provinces on Saturday staged several marches following their first school day despite warnings by the Education Ministry against engaging in activities with a political nature.
The National Alliance for Defense of Legitimacy, a coalition of largely Islamist groups that support ousted president Mohamed Morsi, has earlier called on students to take part in marches all through this week.
In the southern province of al-Minya, marches were staged by students from schools in the cities of Maghagha, Malawi, Bani Mazar, al-Adwah, Samalout and Deir Muwas, amid chants critical of the Egyptian army.
"Down with the junta," the students chanted. "The students say it aloud: Morsi is the President of the Republic," they added, flashing a four-fingered yellow sign marking a pro-Morsi protest camp in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square, that was violently dispersed last week.
In al-Khayari Secondary School in Minya, south of Cairo, around 400 students refused to enter the school without the Rabaa sign.
Students chanted slogans against what they described as the "military coup", according to a source from the Operations Room of the Education Ministry, which monitors developments on the first day of the new academic year.
The source said that the school administration tried to advise the students against mixing their political affiliations with school activities. The students, however, refused this until they were finally agreed to get into the school, the source said.
Fifty students from Samalout Girls' School did the same as they entered their school this morning.
The school administration had managed to convince the students to drop the Rabaa signs, the source said.
In another school in Minya, the school administration had played a song supportive of the Egyptian army, provoking some teachers who said the song contradicted with instructions from the Education Ministry calling for abandoning any activities of political nature.
Meanwhile, members of the self-styled "Students and Youth Alliance against Coup" organized several protests outside schools and al-Azhar institutes in the canal province of Ismailia and announced that they would start civil disobedience until Morsi is reinstated.
"I am a student, not a terrorist, down with the coup-makers," was among slogans chanted by protesters.
"No study, no teaching until the president goes back to office," they chanted again.
NADL sources said that eight students have been arrested for taking part in the protest.
The Interior Ministry has not confirmed the claim.
Students also protested inside the University of Assuit, south of Cairo, amid chants for Morsi's reinstatement and against granting powers to university staff to arrest student on campus.
"I am a student, not a terrorist," the students chanted. "Oh, Sisi [the minister of defense] Morsi is my president."
The academic year is supposed to start on Sunday inside universities in Cairo, except for al-Azhar University where study had been postponed for a week because of maintenance work at the university.Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2013, 21:05