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News: One student killed in Debre Tabor university violence, more than 12,000 examinees walk out on national exam

Professor Berhanu Nega, Ethiopia’s Minister of Education.

By Biruk Alemu @Birukalemu21

Addis Abeba: Yesterday, the Ministry of Education announced that one student was killed, and many examiners taking national school leaving exam and security forces were injured in a violence caused by the students at Debre Tabor University. According to the Ministry of Education, because of the students “deviated from the educational system”, some 12, 787 students who entered various university campuses in Amhara regional state have voluntarily walked out on the exams.

More than 500,000 students were admitted to all state universities located in various parts of the country to take the exams in the first round alone, which was completed on Wednesday. This is the first time the Ministry has administered school leaving exams inside several universities to avoid exam leaks, which had become repeated pattern in the past years.

In a statement issued following the end of the first round of university entrance exams the Ministry announced that from 1700 students from Mekdela Amba University, Mekane Selam Campus; 1,226 students from Debre Markos University; 2,711 students from Bahir Dar University; and 7,150 students from Debre Tabor University totaling 12,787 students fully and partially dropped out of the exam.

The Ministry also claimed that the students who left the exam didn’t want to take the exam and left the campus on their own will; they will not be allowed to take the exam again.

With regard to the bridge at Hawassa University, the ministry 232 students sustained light injuries, 201 medium, 3 serious, five severe injuries. One student has already been reported dead.

As a result of the accident 14,415 examinees from the main campus have missed out on two exams in the first day, whereas 7,350 examinees from the technology campus didn’t take the morning exam. The ministry assured the examinees that they take the exams in the second round.

In a statement, the Debre Tabor University in its part claimed that during the exam the students were saying the campus “didn’t respect the exam system” and further accused them of rejecting the exams unless they “couldn’t copy each other”. The students who were accused of disrupting the university were therefore made to leave the campus after discussions with various stakeholders.

Similarly, Debre Markos City administration said many of the students who were assigned to Debre Markos University in the city dropped out of the exam on their own accord. Students who came from various districts in East Gojam “left their campus grounds in the morning shouting slogans that are not suitable for a student who is taking an examination,” Yitbarek Akowa, the first mayor of the city, claimed. “Various organizations tried to calm the students down so they could take their examinations, but they failed.”

Addis Standard had recently reported about worries by some the students following the announcement by the Ministry that the exams would be held in the university campus.

Kidist, a grade 12 student who only wanted to be recognized by her first name, claimed that taking the exams in a different location would put her family in danger. She asserts that since the exit exam would have a huge impact on students’ lives, taking them with family will increase their confidence.

Addis Semere, another 12th grade examinee who shared his thoughts with Addis Standard, explains that while it was good that the decision was meant to avoid exam cheating, it would have been better to take the exam together with the family.

Asmar Tesema, whose sister is a second-level examinee, worried about sending his sister to another region due to the current security crisis in many parts of the country. AS

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