Prime Minister freezes new grading policy after widespread protests
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Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decided on Saturday to freeze the decision allocating 10 percent of high school thanaweya amma grades to attendance and behavior, state-owned Al-Ahram reported.

The new grading policy, which would affect the scores that determine students’ university places, was announced in October and was quickly met with protests by students across the country.

The Education Ministry announced that a central electronic system would be put in place to receive attendance information from schools nationwide on a daily basis.

Students have argued that the decision could be another tool for the children of those with power or influence to receive preferential treatment. They are also worried that teachers could coerce students into taking private lessons with them in order to receive their full attendance and behavior grades.

It is customary in Egypt for students to skip school during their thanaweyya amma years and depend instead on private lessons.

Among the slogans that the students chanted during protests were, “Why do you want us to go to schools that offer no education?” and “Down with the minister who wants to dumb down the students.”

A number of students have leveled a case against the decision. The first session is scheduled for next Monday. 

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