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Forensics to recheck papers of student contesting zero mark

The education ministry had dismissed student's claims of foul play based on forensics team's handwriting analysis

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Sep 2015
Mariam Malak
Mariam Malak, a student from the southern governorate of Minya (Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's prosecution has ordered forensics to recheck the exam papers of a Thanaweya Amma (secondary school) student who received zero marks in all her summer exams, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Friday.

Mariam Malak, a student from the southern governorate of Minya, is accusing education ministry officials of swapping her answer sheets with those of other students as she "refuses to believe she failed to correctly answer any questions in the seven subjects she was examined on."

She said she has had an excellent academic record over the previous years. However, the education ministry rejected Malak's claims, saying that forensics have previously matched the handwriting on the exam papers to hers.

"After reviewing her records we know her claims are false and her accusations of us rigging her results are unfounded," said the education minister in a press conference on Tuesday.

Now forensics teams will re-examine those papers.

On Tuesday prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab asked justice minister Ahmed El-Zend to form an independent committee to investigate.

Egypt's prosecution is acting independently of that committee.

Malak has garnered media attention over recent weeks with many citizens, activists and social media users expressing their sympathy.

The Thanaweya Amma exams are highly competitive tests that have been marred in the past by recurrent cheating and the untimely leaking of exam papers. 

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