In the midst of the severe weather conditions that took place during the past weekend, one cancellation has left a huge impact on Egyptian students. On March 14th, Egyptian students in Grade 12 in international American schools were expected to take their SAT exams and it could be their final round. As the American Educational system allows students to re-take their SATs several times in an attempt to improve their score, many seniors were eagerly waiting for the March round to raise their score in their final year.
However, students received news of cancellation at 3 am – just a few hours before sitting for the SATs- claiming that the decision was due to severe weather conditions and security concerns taking place in Cairo. While the cancellation is a measure of protection to ensure the students’ safety, it has left graduating seniors with minimal or low hope of improving their scores which could heavily affect their future. Because SAT scores are the qualifying measure with which universities assess students, it will have a huge impact on Egyptian students and the universities they will be accepted in.
To make matters worse, yesterday a statement was released by Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah El Sisi announcing that schools and universities will be put on hold for the following two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If the status of the outbreak does not improve, there is a possibility that schools will not resume for this educational year, leaving students unable to re-take their exams again.
Due to the panic and outrage of Egyptian parents, many have tried to visit AMIDEAST’s branches trying to find a solution to their graduating children’s problems. We received the following statement from Egyptian parent, Ekbal El Sayeh, placed at the scene this morning:
This morning at 8.15 am, my son and I head to AmidEast’s branch where he went in to write his name after standing in a really long queue. We stood aside as the crowd of students and parents kept on growing waiting for the results. After a while, an employee came out calling out a list of students’ names written on 5-6 sheets of paper. She then announced that only these students would be the ones registering for the upcoming SAT exams and that there’s nothing else they could do.
Because parents were outraged and trying to reason with the employees of AmidEast, they cut off the electrical power and called the police to resolve the problems.
Founder of Parents of American and British Schools in Egypt groups, Rania Badran, shared photos of the chaotic scene to portray the magnitude of the crisis occurring now in an attempt to get Grade 10 students to postpone their SAT registration to leave room for Grade 12 graduating seniors to take their final SAT attempt in May before graduating.
After this morning’s incident, AmidEast posted that it will no longer be possible for students to register for their tests at AmidEast facilities, but instead will only be able to schedule their exams online. However, with many Grade 10 and 11 students scheduled to take their exams in May, there are no spots available for seniors to schedule leaving them stuck with the results they have.
Parents keep your kids safe, please! This is not a time to be standing in a similar crowd.