Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

'Thanaweya Amma' Marathon & Coronavirus Pandemic, Op-ed

Sun 21 Jun 2020 | 12:12 PM
Elham Abuelfateh

Thanaweya Amma (high school) exams marathon began earlier today…it is quiet common for most Egyptian students and parents to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and tension during exams' period…But the recent circumstances add a new burden to everyone, as exams are being held for the first time amid the invasion of Coronavirus pandemic that shook health systems around the globe.

Hence, there is a state of anticipation, great interest, and concern dominating all the concerned parties to complete the success of the exams' process, starting from the highest authorities and Ministry of Education passing through the ministries of health and transportation as well.

I have no doubt that this state of alert is sufficient to pass this critical stage…this year exams' stress is not limited to students and their parents, yet all state's apparatuses which are facing a new experience to keep our sons' health amid the outbreak of this dreaded virus.

According to official figures,  about 650,000 students head to schools across the republic to do exams… I am waiting like all families with anticipation and fear the fate of our sons, due to expected gatherings and crowding either in transportation means or in front of schools' gates, as well as inside exams' committees.

But I have great trust in the health procedures, and the great concern shown by all parties to spare our children the risk of infection via providing face masks, disinfection, and sterilization, as well as reducing the attendance intensity in front of the schools' doors and inside the exams' committees.

I feel reassured for two reasons. First, we live in a real state in which officials move with steady steps and do not retreat in the face of rumors or to satisfy the exaggerated loud voices.

Second, this virus is not an accident that we can realize its beginning, causes, and end, but it is an inevitable danger that we do not see its end and we must overcome it with peace, strong will, courage, and safety; we also have to come up from this plight with lessons to benefit this generation and the future generations as well.

What also increases my trust is that despite Egyptian Education Minister Tarek Shawki's decision that final year students of the 'Thanaweya Amma' (high-school) exams have the option to adjourn their exams until next year, with no impact on their school degree or risk of failure that year, yet only little number of students went for this option.

I believe that holding 'Thanawya Amma' exams without postponement is the right decision, even though the majority of the parents are confused, looking for a way to support their children psychologically and healthily, away from tension during this period.

I repeat my appeal to every official in the state, every Egyptian family, and every student to consider this year exams amid this dreaded virus; it is a new experience for all of us to put an end to the ghost of 'Thanwaya Amma' exams and to deal with it like any other normal exam like other world's countries.