Egyptian high school students protest new attendance, behaviour marks

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Oct 2015

The education ministry implemented the thanaweya amma scheme at the start of the 2015-16 academic year

Students protesting a new attendance system (Photo:Facebook)

Hundreds of students across several Egyptian governorates have staged protests against a new system which allocates grade marks for attendance and behaviour, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Wednesday.

The new electronic system, introduced at the start of the 2015/2016 academic year by education minister El-Helali El-Sherbini, aims to improve students’ attendance.

This year, 531,800 have registered for thanaweya amma, the final year of high school, which determines who qualifies to attend universities and colleges.

The new system registers student attendance daily and sends the information to the education ministry electronically. Ten percent of the end-of-year grade will now depend on attendance and behaviour.

Students, who protested in several governorates including Cairo, Giza, and Menofiya, also demanded that all questions in the final exams be based solely on the curriculum, not just the 70 percent the current exams include.

Students have launched a Facebook campaign against the new system called "Students of the 2016 thanaweya amma against the 10 attendance marks".

"We won't keep quiet about this unfair new system," the campaign statement reads.

Thanaweya amma students must take highly competitive and complex tests in order to continue into tertiary education. Which institutions accept them depends on their marks.

Due to education conditions in Egypt, many students resort to expensive private lessons and choose to avoid overcrowded and understaffed classes.

Tests in recent years have been marred by cheating and the leaking of exam questions.

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