Grade nine students will take their exams in booklets
Minister of Education Reda Hegazi recently decided to apply the booklet system to grade nine high school exams starting the upcoming academic year 2023-24. The ministry had previously adopted the format in 2017 for 12th grade (Thanaweya Amma) exams to prevent cheating and exam leakage.
Hegazi noted during a press conference at the ministry that the system is based on merging the question paper and the answer paper into one booklet. The booklet, according to the minister, will also contain a draft paper for students. Students will have to answer the questions directly on the same booklet. “The 20-page booklet would make it difficult for cheaters to circulate any of the pages before or during the exam. It aims at reducing electronic cheating by spreading questions on many pages, thus making it difficult for students to transfer or photograph them for circulation on social media,” the minister said.
He said the questions will not be changed. “Only the format of the paper will differ.”
Ministry spokesman Shadi Zalata said each envelope would comprise 20 booklets that would be opened in the examination hall. “There will be a watermark for each of the country’s educational directorates in order to tighten up security and to easily spot the source of exam leakage, if any,” Zalata said.
According to Zalata, all invigilators along with any personnel involved in the examination process in exam halls will be banned from using mobile phones. Also, efforts will be intensified to prevent students from bringing their phones into exam venues.
School teacher Ibrahim believes that the booklet system which was applied in Thanweya Amma exams helped curtail the leaking of exams that has plagued schools for many years. “Applying the same system to grade nine exams will definitely help,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim pointed out that at the beginning of the new academic year, teachers will have students practise the new system.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 25 May, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly