Egypt fighting to complete current academic year amid COVID-19 fears: Education Minister

The combined exams in the second semester will be short, with an exam duration of two hours during the holy month of Ramadan

  
A teacher wearing a protective mask instructs students wearing face shields and sitting behind glass dividers on their desks in a classroom at Tiba Maadi School, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt November 1, 2020.

A teacher wearing a protective mask instructs students wearing face shields and sitting behind glass dividers on their desks in a classroom at Tiba Maadi School, following months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, Egypt November 1, 2020.

Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt is fighting to complete the 2020-2021 academic year, amid fears among teachers and parents of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education and Technical Education, has said. 

Shawky also announced, on Monday, that to curb the spread of the virus and to ensure the second semester is completed, his ministry had applied the comprehensive exam system, combining all subjects in one exam to each grade.

He said that the combined exams in the second semester will be short, with an exam duration of two hours during the holy month of Ramadan. He added that the exams will be simple and straightforward.

The minister also noted that the struggle to complete the academic year is not a challenge that is singular to Egypt.

He said that students in Grade 9 took the first semester exams for all subjects in one day, instead of taking exams on separate days.

In a post published on his Facebook page, Shawky added that his ministry will announce the full details and date of the Thanaweyya Amma (high school leaving) mock and real exams this week. 

He indicated that Egypt is looking to complete the current academic year, adding that students lost nearly six or seven study weeks last year due to the nationwide closures of education establishments.

The minister also noted that any calls for suspending the current school year will affect students greatly. He asserted that students had completed 14 weeks from the current academic year so far, adding that his ministry will try to ensure that 24 study weeks out of the total 33 take place. 

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