CAIRO: Egypt’s dreaded thanaweya amma exam season kicked off on Sunday with concerns about the difficulty of the exams taking a backseat to security concerns given the current security vacuum.
This year, the Ministry of Education is stepping up security to make sure exams are not leaked or examination halls are not attacked.
On his part, Minister of Education Ahmed Gamal Eldin Moussa told the press that the ministry is taking several measures to secure the exams starting with the confidentiality of the printing process and throughout the transportation process, which will be done using planes, cars and trains, all with the coordination with the police and the armed forces.
There are around 137,000 people assigned to monitor examination halls around the country this year.
According to the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center’s latest study “From Tahrir to Transition” released last week, with the police force humbled and diminished in number, Egyptians see their streets as less secure as almost two in five people now say they don’t feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live, the percentage being twice as large as it was last year.
Moussa also emphasized the role of the youth in securing the examination halls, noting that young activists have always highlighted the role of education in the country.
He also added that there is no link between the January 25 Revolution and the difficulty level of the exams.
Hany Darwish, an official from the Ministry of Education’s department responsible for setting exams, explained that the exams’ format are the same this year, with around 15 percent of the questions aiming to distinguish students with high intellectual level.
On the other hand, one thanaweya amma student said that the power is in the people’s hands this year. Should exams be really difficult this year, he said, then students can hold demonstrations.
“It has always been a one-way communication system, this has to change, the ministry has to listen to our feedback and take it into consideration,” said the student who preferred to remain anonymous.