Egypt’s Education Minister Tarek Shawki (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt will introduce paper-based exams for high-school students in July, in a U-turn on what the state has announced before of providing a hybrid system of digital and hard-copy modules of the exams that determine university prospects based on grades obtained.
"The electronic exam platform will be closed so that the students can focus on reading the questions and answering in the paper sheets," Egypt’s Education Minister Tarek Shawki told a press conference on Tuesday, almost less than two weeks before the start of high school final exams, which is known locally as Thanaweya Amma.
The country's Ministry of Education is printing 192 exam models for all bifurcations' subjects as the exam will no longer be standardized, according to Shawki, who added that around nine million bubble sheets are being printed.
Slightly over 600,000 students are set to take the current year's Thanaweya Amma exams, which are due by 10 July for science division's students and 11 July for literature division.
Going back on online exams comes against the backdrop of growing fears among students' parents of going through power outages during the exam.
Egypt was planning to only introduce online exams for high-school students, but due to concerns over the online exams, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has directed the government to facilitate procedures for holding Thanaweya Amma exams and providing hard-copy system alongside the online system before today's decision.
"The decision aims to avoid any risks or concerns," the minister told the media after the presser.