Egypt’s Minister of Education, Tarek Shawki, announced the mid-year and final exams plan for school students in various grades as part of the country’s efforts to organise its educational process in schools and universities ahead of the second semester amid the pandemic.
Shawki said students between grades four to eight will receive a collective exam that includes all main subjects as an alternative to the adjourned first semester exams.
The first semester’s exams in schools and universities were officially postponed in December due to coronavirus concerns.
Students at grades before grade four, according to the new educational system, do not receive exams.
The exams of both semesters for grade nine and grade 12 will be both held at the end of the educational year, Shawki noted.
Students of these two grades will also receive experimental exams from home in April.
For all grades, the subjects that are not added to the total grades, as well as the subjects of Arabic, social studies, and religion for international schools in Egypt will also be postponed until the end of the year.
The postponed exams for grades four to eight will be held starting Sunday 28 February until Thursday 4 March.
The grade four students will attend the collective exam on 28 February, with students from all other grades being absent on that day. Grades five, six, seven, and eight will attend the exams respectively from 1 to 4 March.
For grades 10 and 11, exams will be held from Saturday 27 February to Tuesday 9 March.
Students in grade 10 will have exams on 27 February, 1 March, 3 March, 6 March, and 8 March while the exams of grade 11 will be held on 28 February, 2 March, 4 March, 7 March and 9 March.
Exams of grade 12, the last year before university, will be held electronically at schools, the minister said.
It is unlikely that the grade 12 exam will start before July, Shawki said, as the ministry is keen to not cancel any parts from the curriculum.
Shawki added that the ministry is also keen to not allow students to move to the next grade until they undergo school exams to properly evaluate them.
Attending school days for the second semester starting 10 March will be optional, the minister said, with a formal approval from their parents.
For the second semester, grades from four to eight will have collective exams at schools, each on a certain day, in March, April, and May as an alternative to the semester’s final exams.
Students of grades 10 and 11 will have electronic exams from home at the end of March, April, and May.
Exams for students residing abroad will be announced by the end of next week, Shawki said.
The minister’s decisions also include giving the right for parents concerned with coronavirus circumstances to decide whether their students should retake the school year next year instead of attending the current year’s exams.
The new Egyptian Scholastic Test, designed for students in Egypt’s American Diploma system as an equivalent to the SATs, is recognised as the only way for these students to qualify for public universities, Shawki added.
The education minister’s decisions come a day after the country’s higher committee tasked with managing the coronavirus crisis decided to extend the mid-year vacation for one more week.
The mid-year vacation was initially set for the period between 16 January and 20 February before being extended to 26 February.