Egypt’s new national high school (Thanaweya Amma) booklet exam system will reduce the possibility of errors occurring in the correction process and eliminate the risk of exam leaks, Gamal Shiha, the chairman of parliament’s Education and Scientific Research Committee, said on Wednesday.
The new system, according to Shiha, will require students to submit their answers in the question sheet, as opposed to the previous system where answers were submitted in a separate sheet.
Shiha said that the new testing model will be implemented for students sitting for make-up exams from previous years, as well as students taking this year’s round of high school exams in 4 June.
The new system will focus more on questions requiring short answers to cover most of the curriculum, thus moving away from structural questions and the traditional memorisation method.
Shiha said that the correction process in the new system will be much easier than before, noting that 120,000 out of 600,000 students filed grievances against their examinations results last year.
However, the booklet system has been criticised by some parents and students, who say its implementation comes too late in the school year, with less than five months till finals.
Other critics of the system say it is a superficial attempt at reforming the education system, which they say requires a large-scale change in the curriculum itself, not only in examination methods.
Last year, test questions were leaked online through a Facebook page called Chao Ming, with students protesting after the education ministry decreed they must sit in for new exams.
Nearly 500,000 students sit for the high school examinations in Egypt annually.
Thanaweya Amma students must take highly competitive exams in a number of subjects at the end of their final year of school.
The marks scored determine what universities and faculties students may attend, if any.
In 2015, a presidential decree stated those who leak exam scores will face a year in prison as well as fines ranging from EGP 20,000 to EGP 50,000.