Addis Abeba – Grade eight examinations in the Tigray region are set to commence tomorrow, 05 July 2023, marking a significant milestone for the students following their long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and two years of devastating conflict in the area. The outbreak of COVID-19 had forced thousands of eighth-grade students to abandon their studies in 2020.
Kinfe Fisha, the Director of the Educational Assessment and Examination Agency in the region, revealed that despite initial plans to hold the exams two years ago, they were ultimately delayed due to the outbreak of war in November 2020. Authorities from the Regional Education Bureau declared the reopening of education in May 2023, allowing approximately 60,000 registered students out of the 124,000 eligible grade eight students in Tigray to participate in the exams. These assessments will be held across 75 woredas, with 1,007 schools set to facilitate the process.
However, significant obstacles loom over the successful implementation of these examinations. Kinfe told Addis Standard that less than 50% of eligible students are expected to participate due to the unavailability of exam centers in certain areas. The lack of control by the regional administration in these areas, attributed to the continued occupation of Amhara and Eritrean forces, poses a significant challenge.
While briefing journalists last week, Kiros Guesh, the Interim Administration Head of the Education Bureau, disclosed that a staggering 552 schools remain inaccessible due to the security situation. With more than 77% of schoolchildren in Tigray still out of school, the head of the bureau added that only 23% of the 2.4 million students have managed to resume their education.
Grade eight exams have been taking place around the nation since yesterday, with more than one million students participating. AS