Education Minister El-Helaly El-Sherbiny was summoned on Tuesday by the parliament’s Education Committee, to answer questions regarding the recent leaks of the thanaweya amma secondary school exams.
Since exams started in the beginning of June, all exams have been leaked on social media – either prior to or during exam time.
The meeting was held mainly to discuss the repetitive leaks and the ministry’s failure to control it, committee member Magda Nasr told Daily News Egypt.
“There need to be stricter precautionary measures when it comes to publishing the exams,” Nasr said. “The current ones are simply inadequate.”
Nasr said that the committee suggested the involvement of high-ranking security officials in securing and transporting the exams to prevent further leaks. However, this is a temporary solution.
Additionally, the committee demanded harsher punishments against those proven to have participated in leaking exams to the public.
The current legal punishment for those proven to have leaked exams is a one-year prison sentence and a fine of EGP 50,000. According to Nasr, this is not enough.
“We’ve asked for the legislation of a stricter law regarding punishment for exam leaks. There have been suggestions of a 10-year sentence and some have even asked for more, but we are yet to agree on a specific sentence,” Nasr said.
Hundreds of students have protested all week in various places across the country, including the Ministry of Education, calling for El-Helaly El-Sherbiny’s resignation or dismissal.
Although many in the committee believe the minister is partially responsible for the leaks, the committee has yet to unanimously support this initiative.
“We are postponing our decision regarding that matter,” Nasr stated. “The solution is not to simply replace him with someone else. Our priority is to stop the leaks.”
“The education system as a whole, the ministry included, needs fundamental revamping,” Nasr continued. “All administrations need to be changed. They are corrupt and a failure.”
El-Sherbiny told the committee that the culprits behind the exam leaks had already been apprehended and that there is full cooperation with all affiliated entities to arrest all those involved.
He also added that the postponement of exams until after Eid vacation was for the students’ best interests, and that repeating the exam would ensure fairer results for all students.