COVID-19: Opposition mounts against paper exams in Kuwait

Cairo: Parliamentary opposition has grown in Kuwait to paper examinations due to be held later this month amid COVID-19 concerns. The 12th graders are scheduled to take their exams after the Muslim Eid Al Fitr holiday amid opposition from parents and several lawmakers.

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“In view of the increasing coronavirus cases and potential perils of holding such tests as well as lack of guarantees to protect students from contracting the virus, it is necessary to reconsider the decision of conducting the paper exams for the 12th grade students,” MP Mohamed Al Hewilah said. He added that students’ health must get top priority.

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“The harvest of knowledge collected through the online studies is not commensurate with the paper exams, which rely on in-class teaching. Therefore, it is necessary to cancel the paper exams and instead hold them online,” he added, according to Al Qabas newspaper.

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“I share parents of 50,000 students their fears of the paper tests amid the current health circumstances,” MP Mohammed Al Rajhi said.

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Political accountability

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He added that he would present a request to discuss the issue in the parliament. “Either the nation and its deputies [MPs] are persuaded that there are no perils and that the ministries of education and health are prepared, or the paper exams are cancelled, or officials are held to political accountability,” he said.

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The Kuwaiti Education Ministry had earlier advocated the paper exams, saying they are crucial for the 12th graders who must be qualified for the university education. The ministry also said that it will take into consideration the type of the distance learning being applied in the country due to the coronavirus and that the exam questions will be suitable for students’ levels.

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