CAIRO: The nightmare of Thanaweya Amma has driven two students from different parts of the country to commit suicide as a result of extreme exam stress.
The news which shocked the nation comes amidst allegations of leaked examination papers in Minya. The incident is currently under investigation.
Hassan Mohamed Youssry, 16, hanged himself days after taking his math exam out of fear of failing, reported Al-Masry Al-Youm. The boy’s father had threatened him that if he failed an exam he would be beaten and even kicked out of the house.
“Psychologically, he was a wreck the past few days, Youssry’s mother told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “He told me that the proctors at the exam hall told them that the exam was leaked in Minya because ‘they are rich people but you are poor’, she added.
In Port Said, Mirhan Hany Salem, 18, threw herself from a sixth floor balcony in the early hours of the morning before the mechanics exams last Monday. “She was going through a rough time, her parents told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Students left the mechanics examination hall on Monday devastated and in tears.
One online forum for discussing the exams, Thanawya.com, has published many comments of a highly critical nature, including this one: “Why are they doing this to us? We study all year round and at the end we can’t answer any of the questions, while other people whose parents are important get the exam questions beforehand. They don’t even need the good grades to get into university because their parents will pay their way through it too!
For its part, the Ministry of Education is insisting that the average student should be able to pass the exam and that everything in it was covered in the school textbook, according to Farid Abdel Samei, media advisor for the Ministry of Education.
However, a cabinet meeting is to be held today [Wednesday] to discuss the exam leakage case in Minya and the issue of the difficulty level of exams.
Authorities have arrested four more suspects in the exam leakage case in Minya, including Mostafa El Shimi, the son of a member of the Shoura Council, Shadad Abou Taleb, member of the Local Council and Hassan Khalifa, a police officer, bringing the total number of detainees in this case to 14.
When Daily News Egypt contacted the press office at the Ministry of Education for comment on the case, Abdel Samei was furious.
“We don’t have any leakage cases. It’s all nonsense. We refuse to comment on such an issue any further, he said.
The nightmare has not only reached high school students but their families as well, since a state of emergency is declared at all homes of Thanaweya Amma students.
Additionally, these exams are also financially draining for parents as private tutoring has become a standard requirement for passing.
“Our whole life is put on hold all year round, and in the end you find your child coming out looking like this, the parent of a Thanaweya Amma student previously told Daily News Egypt. “What do I say to this? El Hamdulelah [Thank God], she added.
Individual and collective suicide attempts are repeatedly reported throughout the year during the Thanaweya Amma exam period.