File Photo: High school students wearing protective masks. Reuters
The results of 2021/2022 high school exams – which determine university prospects based on the grades obtained – were announced on Saturday, with results from some schools withheld until the conclusion of investigation into suspected cheating cases.
Shawki said that students who have been caught cheating in the exams or leaking the questions had been referred to the ministry's legal affairs department and/or Public Prosecution.
At the same time, he assured students that are not suspected of cheating that their results will be released once the ministry's legal affairs department and Public Prosecution conclude their investigation.
The minister asserted that the number of cheating cases this year was significantly fewer than last year, he added during a news briefing broadcast on the ministry's official website on Saturday.
The ministry will start receiving student grievances about exam results as of Monday, Shawki said, indicating that students will have only 10 days to submit their grievance applications either in hard copy or electronically via the ministry's web portal.
Some 650,000 high school students took the Thanaweya Amma exams this year from 20 June-21 July.
Over the past two year, the Ministry of Education has introduced a series of amendments to the Thanaweya Amma exams, with the aim of replacing the decades-long system of memorising for tests with a system based on the comprehension of academic material.
The new system significantly lowered the passing rate and ended the phenomenon of students obtaining full marks in their senior year of high school.
The passing rate for the outgoing academic year stood at 75 percent, up from 74 percent last year, with no student obtaining the perfect 100 percent score for the second consecutive year.
In the 2019/2020 academic year, prior to the introduction of the amendments, the pass rate stood at 81.5 percent.
Last year, the minimum grades required for admission into Egyptian universities – including the most prestigious faculties, such as medicine and engineering – dropped considerably for the first time in decades.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is expected to announce the minimum grades required for admission to faculties for the coming year soon.