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Egypt Announces Jail Terms For High School Exam Cheaters

The Egyptian Ministry of Education has announced the introduction of jail terms for cheaters ahead of the forthcoming high school final exams, as well a more strenuous vetting process for invigilators.

The head of security at the ministry, Colonel Amru Dassuki, said that “we will implement President Abdel Fatah Sisi’s decision to jail cheaters and their accomplices,” adding that the punishment may be complemented by a EGP50,000 fine (US$6,000).

Col. Dassuki also said that his department vetted all the prospective proctors, making sure they are not the proponents of a “distorted religious ideology.”

His statements were interpreted in the Egyptian media as an attempt to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from getting a foothold in the education system.

Every examination room will host a panel of observers, one of whom will be a representative of the Ministry’s legal department, who will in turn draft a report on violations of exam rules and pass it on to the state prosecution.

The exam season will begin next week and be taken by 560,000 students in 1,574 different locations, for which the ministry has hired 81,268 staff – including invigilators, security officers and coordinators.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Alhilali Alshirbini rejected calls to postpone exams that this year will coincide with Ramadan, in the first week of June.

Alshirbini said that “Ramadan was never intended to be a month of laziness and sleep and we will continue to do exams during it, as we always have.”

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