Shafiq campaign distracts exam-embroiled high school students in Kafr El-Sheikh

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Jun 2012

Campaigners of Mubarak-era candidate disturb Thanaweya Amma students sitting their exams in the hope of reaching university; parents say loud speakers and excessive noise used by Shafiq crew remind them of dismantled NDP

Ahmed Shafiq
File photo: Egyptian presidential candidate for the upcoming elections Ahmed Shafiq, waves to his supporters during a meeting in Tanta, about 90 km (56 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt, Friday, May 11, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Last year of high school (Thanaweya Amma) students and their parents in the northern Delta governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh are complaining about the presidential campaign of Ahmed Shafiq.

The last prime minister of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and former aviation minister, Shafiq will be facing the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in presidential runoffs on 16 and 17 June.

Students say that the use of loud speakers distracts them as they sit for their thanaweya amma exams. Moreover, their parents accuse Shafiq's campaigners of employing the same methods used by the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP).

Kafr El-Shiekh is the hometown of Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi, who came in third place in the first round of Egypt's presidential elections in May.

In Kafr El-Sheikh, Sabbahi finished first. It is expected that many of those who voted for a candidate with a revolutionary platform will either vote for Morsi or boycott the runoffs.

Egypt's Thanaweya Amma exams started on Saturday. Around 800,000 students are sitting the exams this year with 26,116 students in Kafr El-Sheikh. Stress levels are often high with the results determining what universities students can get into, and their job opportunities. With high pressure to do well, every year, there are reports of several students having nervous breakdowns.

Hazem El-Sayed, a Thanaweya Amma student, told Ahram Online that the Shafiq campaign is using noisy loud speakers at a time when students need every minute to revise lessons for tests.

Gamal Abul-Dahab, a parent of a student said that Shafiq's insensitive campaign methods have produced a backlash against the candidate in the governorate.

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