Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Signing up for university

Thanaweya Amma students have started enrolling in universities


photo: Mohamed Maher
photo: Mohamed Maher

The first phase of admission into universities kicked off on 16 July and will last until 20 July, reports Reem Leila. Around 127,000 students passing the Thanaweya Amma exams are applying for universities in the first phase. They are required to choose from among 60 faculties.

The Thanaweya Amma examinations are the last stage in the Egyptian high school education system. Students who pass the exams are awarded the General Secondary Education Certificate. The general score in these exams determine which faculty students will join.

Thanaweya Amma results were announced last week with 74.3 per cent of those sitting for the nationwide exams passing compared to 72.4 per cent last year.

The minimum score in the first admission phase for students of science was 96.31 per cent, science/mathematics 92.3 per cent, and the humanities 79.3 per cent. Reda Hegazi, head of the General Education sector in the Ministry of Education, said 556,284 students sat for Thanaweya Amma exams this year.

General scores this year were higher than last year. Those who received a total score exceeding 95 per cent were 13 per cent of the total number of students compared to 10.8 per cent last year.  

“This proves the success of the booklet system for the second year,” Hegazi said. “The system is considered a change in the structure of the exam, and ultimately stopped the problem of exam leaks and cheating. It helped in curtailing the leaking of exams on social media that has plagued the educational system in past academic years.”

In a press conference at the ministry, Hegazi said students sat for their exams in 1,777 examination halls across the country. He said 1,411 cases of cheating were discovered, down from 3,200 last year. The ministry set up an electronic cheating committee which monitored cheating attempts on social media to try to fix the problem.

Thanaweya Amma exams have long been a nightmare for the families of secondary school students. Scores in the nationwide exams determine which faculty students will join, and by extension the careers they will pursue. This year is the last year for the old Thanaweya Amma system. Starting next year the new system will be applied.

According to Ahmed Khairy, Ministry of Education spokesman, the new system aims to reduce the importance of memorisation in final examinations. “Students’ evaluation will not only be based on their final grades. They will sit for 12 exams in each subject they study, throughout the three years of secondary school. The average of their best results in six of the exams will determine their place in university,” Khairy said.

Housewife Rabab Al-Moqqadem, whose daughter is in grade 10, is not happy with the new system. “Instead of sitting for Thanaweya Amma exams once, my daughter has to take it 12 times throughout the three years of secondary stage in each subject, to choose the best six scores in each subject and come out with the average,” said Al-Moqqadem. “I can’t figure out how the new system will lessen the burdens and stress we face. Now, instead of worrying about one year, it will be three.”

According to UNICEF, less than 10 per cent of schools in Egypt meet the international standards for quality education and 20 per cent of buildings used for educational purposes are not fit for use and lack functioning water and sanitation facilities.

The first year in which students will graduate according to the new system will be in 2021.

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