High school grievances: The lost dreams of students

Every year, following the announcement of high school results in Egypt, the Ministry of Education begins to open the door for students’ grievances, so they can object to their grades in the hope of joining their dream college.

Grievance committees every year witness a large turnout of students, often in more than one subject, amid criticism from students who say their answers have been poorly corrected amid accusations of the ministry of trying to obtain from students enormous amounts of money while they are running behind a mirage of improving their grades. Last year, the number of students who complained about their high school results reached more than 30,000 students, and the total amount of grievances reached about EGP 27 million, as the student pays EGP 100 for each complaint. These complainants raised the question about where this money is going and how the ministry could benefit from it, as grievances have become a way to collect money.

High school grievances

Tariq Shawky, Minister of Education, approved the start dates for grievances for high school students affected by their results in the first round of exams of the high school completion certificate for the 2019/2020 academic year. The ministry decided to open the door for grievances against the results of the first round of exams for a period of 15 days, starting from Thursday, August 6, 2020, until Thursday, August 20, 2020.

The Ministry of Education has defined controls and procedures for students’ grievance against their results, as follows:

  • Pay an amount of EGP 100 for each subject that the student wishes to file a grievance about at one of the post offices across the republic, and Fawry machine outlets.
  • The requests for access to the subject (that is required to be reviewed) shall be submitted to the representative of the System and Monitoring Committee present in the educational directorates, that follow the committee, attached to it the receipt indicating payment in addition to a photocopy of the revenue receipt.
  • Submitting applications and paying fees to start as of Thursday, August 6, 2020, so that the student or guardian submits a grievance request to the educational directorate of its affiliation with the payment receipt and a scanned copy of the receipt and a copy of the card.
  • The student is obliged to be present at the headquarters of the System and Control Committee at the time specified for him to be examined, and whoever fails to meet the deadline set for him has no right to apply for access again.
  • The student’s viewing process is limited to a scanned copy of the examination booklet and not the original notebook.

Every year, as crowds gather to file grievances, there is a stampede and many people faint. Money is collected from students and their parents ask questions about where the millions of pounds go, and how teachers should be held accountable.

Secondary funds

Part of the question has been answered by Tariq Nur al-Din, the former assistant minister of education, in previous statements: “The [money from] high school grievances is spent according to the policy of each minister. He is the one who sees and determines appropriate spending and it differs from one minister to another.”

As for Hosni al-Sayed, an educational expert at the National Research Institute, he said: “The Ministry of Education should announce to all the policy of spending the sums it collected for the account of the Fund for Support and Funding Educational Projects, at a rate of EGP 100 for each grievance filed by the student for one subject.” Al-Sayed added in press statements: “It must be disclosed whether the funds that are collected from students are spent as gifts or rewards in the ministry, or they enter the budget allocated for education or are transferred to the Ministry of Finance.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Fayez Barakat, a member of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the teachers who make mistakes that affect the future of the students must be held accountable by the head of control and examinations.