The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Wednesday to life an official responsible for printing exam papers in state owned printers after being charged of leaking exams, state media reported.
The defendant was also fined EGP 100,000 and was expelled from his job. The court also sentenced six defendants to three years imprisonment. They were charged with receiving bribes in return for leaking the exam questions and answers.
The phenomenon of exam leaking on social media started in 2014, either prior to or during the exam time. However, the Ministry of Education denied some leaks. Facebook pages such as “ChaoMing” and “Bel ghesh etgamana” (through cheating we are united) were formed to modify students’ exam results by leaking the exams, and students circulated photos of the papers.
In December 2016, following the incident, Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek referred a number of high-ranking officials, who worked in printing houses affiliated with the Ministry of Education, for investigation.
The “thanaweya amma” exam leaks have put the Ministry of Education under increasing pressure, raising more and more questions about Egypt’s education system, which many are calling for its reform.
Last year, students claimed that a number of exams had been leaked during the exam period. All of these claims have been denied by the ministry. In response to this, security forces have arrested at least 20 people on charges of administering pages that are accused of leaking exams.
A major protest at the ministry’s headquarters in downtown Cairo was dispersed by security forces after the exams, and dozens of students had been briefly detained over the protest.
The crackdown on perpetrators in the exam leaking issues also included administrators of internet pages. In July 2016, Al-Waraq Misdemeanour Court sentenced the administrator of the ChaoMing Facebook page to one year in prison and a fine of EGP 20,000 on charges of leaking school exams on social media pages.