Egypt cancels some in-school final exams due to coronavirus

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Mar 2020

Primary and most preparatory school pupils will prepare research papers from home; higher grades will take exams in school with new safety precautions

School children line up at start of the day classes in Thamret Al Tawfiq School in Cairo, Egypt Marc
School children line up at start of the day classes in Thamret Al Tawfiq School in Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2020. (Reuters)

Egyptian pupils from third primary to second preparatory will not take final year exams this term but will instead prepare a research paper for every course and submit it online within two months, starting Thursday, Minister of Education Tarek Shawki announced.

The minister gave a press conference on Thursday to announce the ministry's upcoming plans, given the current closure of schools and universities to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"The students in these grades [third primary to second preparatory] will be able to contact class teachers via the ministry's electronic platform for every course for assistance to prepare research in two months starting Thursday,” Shawki said.

“For third preparatory, third secondary and technical certificate grades, students will take the final year exams as scheduled and inside schools, with full consideration for health precautions and cooperation with all entitled state authorities to protect students,” he added.

The minister said that the final year exams for the first and second secondary grades will be taken on a tablet device from home and will be marked electronically. The results of the exam will be sent to the students online.

“For first and second kindergarten and first and second primary grades, where the new 2.0 education system is applied, the teachers of these students will prepare an assessment report and require parents to ensure students have accomplished the curriculum published on the electronic library,” the minister announced.

Education 2.0 is a new education system which was announced by the ministry in 2017.

In recent years, Egypt has been implementing a number of reforms to improve its education system at all levels.

In 2019, a revamped curriculum that places greater stress on understanding rather than memorising and includes an electronic exam system which depends on tablets and the internet was introduced for students in first secondary.

A total of 600,000 students at 2,500 schools successfully took their final year exams online using tablets.

On Saturday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decision to close schools and universities for two weeks, starting Sunday, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country

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