The new school year, which kicked off on 1 October, will see the Ministry of Education launch programmes to train and qualify teachers and apply new mechanisms to assess their performance, said newly appointed Minister of Education Reda Hegazi.
Speaking at a press conference two days before the beginning of the new school year, Hegazi said regulations covering sports days in all schools, the status of school building maintenance and plans to make up for a shortfall in teachers had all been reviewed.
The last school year was tough on grades 10 and 11 due to problems with the use of tablets in studying and sitting exams. According to Hegazi, this year the ministry intends to let students in grades 10 and 11 sit for their final exams electronically and on paper.
The Thanweya Amma (grade 12) exams will this year include multiple-choice and short essay questions, the latter of which will comprise 15 per cent of the total marks. Apart from the essay questions, papers will be graded electronically.
“Each essay question will be marked by two teachers, with one reviewing the corrections of his/her colleague to ensure fairness in the grading process,” said Hegazi.
Around 5,000 teachers are currently being trained on applying the new system.
Hegazi also revealed that if the House of Representatives approves a new law prepared by the Ministry of Education, Thanaweya Amma students may get a second chance to improve their grades.
“We are looking into ways to allow students to resit exams if they are unhappy with their final grades,” said Hegazi.
The ministry is proposing to amend the education act to allow Thanaweya Amma students who passed all of their exams to repeat the entire school year in order to improve their total grades and gain access to their preferred college and faculty. Currently, only students who have failed a subject are allowed to re-sit.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 6 October, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.