CAIRO: After passing their thanaweya amma exams, students will be able to choose between going to college or taking more exams to quality them for the workforce, according to a new plan proposed by the Ministry of Education, Farid Abdel Samei from the ministry’s press office said.
Minister of Education Ahmed Zaki Badr announced that his administration prepared a plan to develop the thanawiya amma system, national secondary school certificate, as part of the general plan to develop the education system.
These tests are designed to measure students’ talents or other special abilities to assess if they’re ready to bypass university and enter the workforce right away.
Badr told the local press that they will be presenting this new system to the legislative bodies in the upcoming period.
Egypt’s secondary certificate is deemed every Egyptian student and parent’s worst nightmare.
“The current memorizing culture in the Egyptian education system needs to be replaced with one of creativity and innovation,” said Sherif Omar, head of the education committee at the People’s Assembly (PA).
“The thanawiya amma certificate should become an entity from which the student is prepared to either enter the job market or go on to pursue a higher university degree,” he added.
Badr’s predecessor, former minister of education Yousri El-Gamal, had announced while in office that the thanawiya amma system will be revised and transformed, bringing an end to a system where the future of high school students depends entirely on a single grade.
El-Gamal’s plan was scheduled to be executed starting the graduating class of 2013, who will enter high school in 2010.
However, as El-Gamal was replaced earlier this year, it was predicted that these plans will also be replaced.
Last month, during a discussion of an education committee report on thanaweya amma at the PA, Parliament speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour criticized the educational policies in Egypt.
Sorour, who is a former education minister, said that while in office a decree was issued to take a year out of elementary school and add one year to thanawiya amma, which is three years. However, the succeeding ministers have discarded these decrees and went a head with their own strategy.
Therefore, he explained, decrees and policies should be bound to the state and not a particular minister or the government so that the policies wouldn’t change as either the minister or the government change, disrupting the set strategy for the education system.