High school students continue protests in Cairo and elsewhere against rescheduling of exams

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jun 2016

Students say that some among them have been arrested while police forces used tear gas Monday to disperse student protesters

High School Students protest
Egyptian students chant slogans demanding the resignation of Education Minister Al-Helali el-Sherbini during a protest against the cancellation of high school exams, in front of Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. (Photo: AP)

Dozens of Thanaweya Amma high school students continued to protest Wednesday in several parts of the country against a recent government decision to cancel and postpone a number of their end-of-year exams.

The controversial decision came after several incidents of exam questions and answers were leaked online, which sparked an outcry among students and parents who have staged demonstrations over the past two days.

Around 300 students protested Wednesday in front of the press syndicate headquarters in Downtown Cairo, chanting slogans against the education ministry and calling for the minister to resign.

"How would a minister who has failed to protect an exam paper carry the responsibility of the ministry?" student Ahmed Salman asked, as quoted by Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Ahmed Shawky, another student, said that a number of his colleagues had been arrested during protests Monday, claiming that they are still detained and did not attend Wednesday's exams.

Egypt's protest law stipulates that demonstrations have to be approved by the police in advance, otherwise violators could face jail terms.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, security forces dispersed student protests in front of the headquarters of the education ministry in central Cairo. Eyewitnesses told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that tens of students have been rounded up.

Dozens of students staged protests in other parts of the country, including in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya and the port governorate of Damietta.

A popular Facebook page that published leaked school exam papers allegedly posted Wednesday's religion exam question paper an hour before the exam started.

There was no official confirmation from the ministry about the leaked paper, but the ministry denied in a statement that other leaked papers of exams scheduled to take place next week are authentic.

Hundreds of high school students protested Monday following the government's decision to cancel and reschedule part of their exams. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesting students.

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail vowed on earlier this month that tough legal measures would be taken against those who leak the exams, and several administrators of Facebook pages have been arrested over involvement in leak incidents.

The results of the Thanaweya Amma exams, taken in the final year of high school, determine students' college destinations and subject choices.

More than 500,000 students are sitting this year's tests.

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