Following Monday’s protest by secondary school students over the thanaweya amma exam leaks, there are renewed calls for the dismissal of Education Minister El-Helaly El-Sherbiny.
Multiple parties and student movements are calling for El-Sherbiny to step down, holding him responsible for the continuation of secondary school exam leaks.
Monday’s protests saw dozens of students, angered by the rescheduling of exams due to the leaks, gather in downtown Cairo and other governorates to demand educational reform. The protests were dispersed by the police and some students were arrested but later released.
Khaled Dawood, spokesperson for Al-Dostour party, told media outlets that the party is calling for the “dismissal of the education minister and the opening of an investigation with senior ministry officials.”
“The party also holds the prime minister responsible for his inaction in taking any decision surrounding the leaks and allowing it to unfold,” the statement continued.
The Socialist Popular Alliance Party also shared Al-Dostour’s grievances and called for El-Sherbiny’s dismissal.
In a statement, the party criticised the current education system, claiming that “the continuance of this failed system, in addition to the current government’s neglect towards improving it, will lead the country to disaster.”
“[Monday’s] protests prove that this current generation is unlike any other,” the statement read. “They need support and respect. They need a better educational system.”
Additionally, the party called for the protection of student protests and refused the use of violence against them.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail received on Tuesday heads of committees in parliament in a meeting which addressed, among other topics, the ongoing crisis of exam leaks.
A statement from the cabinet said that Ismail asserted that the decision to cancel some exams and push them back intends to ensure equal opportunity among thanaweya amma students and to not waste the efforts of those who had studied hard throughout the year,”
The students protesting on Monday also criticised the failure of the Education Ministry to prevent the leaks of secondary school exams. Since June, all exams have been leaked, either prior to or during exam time, on social media.
Several student movements have called for a sit-in in front of the Presidential Palace on June 29.
Mostafa El-Hawary, a spokesperson of a student movement calling for the education minister’s dismissal, told Daily News Egypt that Monday’s protests “succeeded in grabbing people’s attention but did not bring forth any viable developments for the students’ cause”.
Hawary continued that the planned sit-in in front of the Presidential Palace on 29 June will be more successful in putting more pressure on the government to dismiss El-Sherbiny.
“I don’t know why [the government] is holding on to [El-Sherbiny] like that. He needs to be dismissed,” Hawary said. “We need a minister that will listen to our demands, not ignore them.”
In response to the protests, the prime minister met with El-Sherbiny on Monday, to discuss the ministry’s strategies to face exam leaks, according to an official statement released by the cabinet on Monday.
The statement discussed the leaks and subsequent cancellation of the mathematics exam on Sunday.
“On 26 June, the mathematics exam was leaked 6-7 hours before it was due to start,” the statement read. “It became clear that the leaked answers coordinated with the exam questions.”
However, the statement did not explain why students were allowed to take the exam, even though ministry officials knew long before the exam began that it was leaked.