Egytian Minister of Education Tarek Shawki has announced that all secondary school students will receive their tablets by mid-November, after the arrival of 708 thousand tablets to the country. He added that 2500 schools have already been connected to optic fibers as well as WiFi, in preparation to receive and operate the tablets.
Shawki stated that the new “Thanawya Amma” (Egyptian education system for high school) aims to destroy the boggart of exams, and that the tablet’s late arrival will not affect the educational process. Moreover, the infrastructure for intra-school networks will all be completed by January 2019, he added, and the first “Thanawya Amma” digital exam will be held the same month.
“We are currently building a digital bank of Thanawya Amma exam questions, and the ministry continues to get ready for the new technology-dependent Thanawya Amma exam, to help the student attain the largest amount of information though The Knowledge Bank and other ministry-provided sources.”
A Ministry of Education source told media that the tablets intended for the new Thanawya Amma system are almost finished, and will be stored by the ministry until it is time to give to the students. The ministry will provide all students their tablets at the same time.
The source added that all tablets will contain different passwords, to ensure they are never jumbled between students. Further, several IT companies have been commissioned to perform regular checkups on the tablets in various schools, to avoid malfunction.
The Ministry of Education also released a statement containing some information about the New Thanawya Amma exams, pointing out that questions will not be limited to multiple choice or true-or-false, but will include several forms of questions.
Some questions will require a voice answer and others a keyboard-typed response, while others yet will require figure drawings. All questions will be stored on a digital cloud, to be sent from the ministry to the school. Schools will have the liberty to ask for certain exams at certain timings.
Finally, the ministry added that questions will be sent directly to tablets through the cloud, and randomly chosen from the main computer.
Since his appointment as Minister back in 2017, Shawky has announced drastic changes to the Egyptian education system, from a full restructuring of the ancient “Thanawta Amma” high school examination system, to randomizing exams to avoid cheating. The minister is also working on digitizing the entire education system, while providing a more engaging learning experience that depends on interactive exercises, rather than memorization. Under Shawky, students will also undergo open book exams, for the first time in the history of Egyptian education system.