Over 600,000 students across Egypt are expected to take their Thanaweyya Amma exams on Sunday under strict precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The precautionary measures have been implemented for the exams by the Ministries of Health and Education, to ensure the health and safety of students.
The Ministry of Education announced that the measures are to protect students and teachers participating in the exams, as well as invigilators and correctors.
According to the ministry, a total of 34 million medical masks have been provided, which will be distributed to students and participants in the exams. These come alongside about 6.5m gloves and 16,575 thermal detectors which have been made available to measure the temperature of students as they enter exam rooms.
There will be evaluation portals at all classes, with students given disinfectant product, a face mask and a shoe cover before each exam. Daily sterilisation of examination classrooms will take place following the end of each exam. A medical team will also be on hand to monitor classrooms during exams.
A total of 560 ambulances have designated to transport any suspected coronavirus cases found at schools, with evacuation plans in place for the nearest hospital equipped to receive cases. A 24-hour emergency room has been formed to follow up on the reports received from inside the classrooms.
Deputy Minister of Education for high school students, Reda Hegazi, said the Ministry is exerting efforts to ensure exams take place safely, and students are protected.
On Saturday, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal said that a total of 310 sterilisation gates have been installed in front of classrooms to allow students to undertake the exams safely.
Temperature detectors, face masks, and disinfection materials have also been provided for distribution to students and teachers.
Abdel Aal appealed to parents not to gather around schools and to cooperate in the interests of their health. This will ensure a calm environment for their children is provided during exams.
Also on Saturday, the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States – Beirut, Dr Hamed bin Saif Al Hammami, called for the safe passage of students travelling to final examinations be ensured. He also called for their safe transit through checkpoints, and that students should be protected from harassment or intimidation. Al Hammami further stressed the need to ensure the safety of students in examination centres.
Countries in the region have taken a host of decisions on national examinations, with some choosing to cancel them. Others have chosen to reschedule them, whilst others have organised online exams instead. Yet other countries have decided to keep the examinations as planned, instead organising them inside schools or designated examination centres.