Egypt cancels 2nd term university exams amid coronavirus lockdown

Menna Alaa El-Din , Saturday 18 Apr 2020

Cairo University
Cairo University is seen almost empty following government efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Cairo, Egypt March 15, 2020. Picture taken March 15, 2020. (Reuters)

Egypt has cancelled the second term’s final exams at universities under the latest measures to control the spread of the coronavirus and extended the suspension of educational activities at all schools and universities nationwide.

According to a statement on Saturday, the Supreme Council of Universities said it has decided to cancel the exams at universities nationwide and replace them with either a research paper or online exams.

The research paper would cover curriculums taught in the second term, with every university placing the necessary criteria and guidelines for the research paper depending on the program of each faculty or university.

The online exams will only be applied by faculties or programs that have the needed infrastructure and technological capabilities to conduct tests online for all students.

The statement added that the traditional grading system will not be applied for either of the two alternatives, with the grades to be limited to a pass or fail.

Universities are also to put in place guidelines to give students a second chance in case the research paper they submit is not approved or if they fail the online testing.

Universities are requested to announce the details about the research paper’s topics and schedules by no later than 7 May, with the submission of the projects or online testing scheduled to begin starting 31 May.

On faculties that require practical exercises or tests, the council said the period set for such exercises during the second term are set to be resumed after lifting the suspension of universities or with the start of the new academic year.

Distance learning will continue until 30 April for all classes, the statement said.

Egypt is continuing the closure of all schools and universities in place since 15 March as part of the country’s unprecedented steps to stem the spread of the virus in the overpopulated country.

The council also decided to postpone exams for senior students until the end of the universities’ closure, with students given an adequate period of time before sitting for their exams.

On postgraduate students, universities would decide on the exam period after the suspension is lifted, the council said, adding that the suspension period is not counted as the mandatory duration of study to receive the certificate.

The decision by the universities’ governing body comes a few weeks after Egypt cancelled some in-school final exams due to the coronavirus.


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