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Egypt says 'sovereign body' to print high school exams to prevent leaks

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Dec 2016
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File Photo: A Secondary school student takes his exam (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has said a "sovereign body" will be in charge of printing the Thanaweya Amaa exams—Egypt's standardised high school final exams—to prevent the test being leaked prior to test day.

In a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Ismail said the government has earmarked EGP 100,000  for new equipment to test security and anti-cheating measures during exam time at high schools, state news agency MENA reported.

The Prime Minister stressed that there would be "no complacency in dealing with all the negative phenomena that occur during exams."

Prior to the last round of examinations held six months ago, exams for several thanaweya amaa subjects were leaked online, prompting officials to cancel, void or postpone some exams and to investigate possible leaks from within the education ministry.

Several alleged administrators of three Facebook pages that leaked questions and answers were arrested at the time. 

The leaks have sparked public anger of the government's perceived inefficiency.

Earlier this week, the cabinet approved  amendments to a law toughening penalties for cheating and other exam violations, Ismail said. The new draft has been sent to the State Council, a judicial advisory body, before being referred to parliament for final consent.

Last week, an education ministry official and seven other defendants were referred by prosecutors to a criminal court over charges of leaking multiple exams since 2014. A date for the trial has yet to be set.

The results of the Thanaweya Amaa exams, taken in the final year of high school, determine students' college destinations and subject choices.

More than 500,000 students will be sitting this year's tests.

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