About 649,000 students across Egypt are taking this year’s high school leaving (Thanaweyya Amma) exams, which started on Saturday amid strict precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Students sat the Arabic language exam as one case of academic misconduct was reported in Gharbeya Governorate, due to a student using his mobile phone to leak the exam on social media platforms.
Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education and Technical Education, said that the student was identified as he had photocopied his paper. The minister added that there is no point in photocopying the exams, as there are different forms of the exam.
He said after the exam was leaked, that whoever uses the published solutions on social media will fail. This year’s high school exams are being held using paper “Babel Sheet” systems, with questions that are based on understanding, not memorisation.
In a similar context, Sakina Salamah, a member of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives, said the parliamentary Education Committee will summon the officials in charge of high school exams. The committee will investigate the reasons for the leakage of the Arabic language exam.
She asserted that the Arabic language exam was circulated on social media an hour and a half after the start of the exam.
Salamah explained that the leaking of exams eliminates equal opportunities and negatively affects other students, adding that parents were very disappointed by the exam leak.
Meanwhile, a number of high school students complained about the difficulty of Saturday’s exam, saying that the answers in the multiple choices are similar to each other. This requires that they take a long time to choose the correct answer.
This year’s exams are being held inside secured committees and monitored by cameras inside schools. The Ministry of Education and Technical Education also confirmed that the correction of the exams will be completed electronically, and the results will be announced 10 days after the end of exams on 2 August.
Moreover, precautionary measures have been implemented for the exams, including measuring the temperature of students before entering the exams.
Sterilisation gates and heat detectors were also provided, in addition to distributing sterilisation products to students.