Ministry of Education to give 450,000 tablets to Grade 12 students

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Photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The Ministry of Education has announced that for the first time 12-grade university entrance examinations will be given online and students will be given tablets. Based on the Ministry of Education data there are 450,000 grade 12 students that are expected to take the exam.
The exam will be given starting from December 7 up to December 10, 2020.
According to the decision of the ministry every student who has completed grade 11 and attended the first semester of the academic year can sit on the exam, yet registration will be done online.
Before the exam according to the ministry students will take 45 days of classes and technology guidance.
Despite the ministry’s decision a lot of people raise questions of access to the internet and digital materials, and weak connectivity of internet as challenges that students could face.
According to Hereguwa Mamo Communication Director at the Ministry, the ministry has prepared tablets for students “each and every student will get tablet to take the exam digitally in selected schools,” said Hareguwa, adding that by taking into account the internet connection the Ministry has prepared to facilitate networks to the selected schools from its own satellite.
Besides according to Hareguwa the Ministry has given 45 days of training to blind students on how to take the exam. The ministry has differentiated different subjects which should be focused on all grade starting from grade one up to grade 12 to finish the academic year as soon as possible.
The ministry has also decided to give grade 8 exam on December 1 and 2, 2020, and those who completed grade 7 classes and the first semester can sit on the exam.
According to the Ministry in the coming three weeks schools and education institutions will be prepared to start classes with an attempt to control the spread of the virus based on the Ministry of Health guidlines.
Schools are expected to clean and disinfect their class rooms, students should wear face masks, and the maximum number of students in a classroom to be 25 and one student per desk to keep social distance.
As disclosed by the Ministry, schools in Addis Ababa and around Addis Ababa will start on November 10, 2020; however, schools out of Addis Ababa will start class on October 19 and October 26.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF have been recommending countries to reopen schools.
On March 16, 2020, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the closure all schools across the country and on March 27, 2020, the government decides to extend the closure for two more weeks and students from higher education to go back to their home, while the duration of the school closures remain uncertain.
At the beginning of the current academic year the ministry was planning to conduct the national entrance exam from June 1 up to June 3.
Ethiopia has around 20 million pupils in Ethiopian schools about 45,000 schools over the country and nearly a million in the 50 public universities and more than 250 private academic institutions, all of which represent high potential transmission sites.