Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian high school students were in for a rude shock today when the government unexpectedly cancelled the national University entrance examination following question papers leak.
The Higher education entrance exam was scheduled to take place as of today nationwide. However, students from the 800 exam centers across the country were seen returning home without taking the exams.
Picture of the leaked English and Mathematics exam papers have gone viral on social media yesterday.
People supporting the protests for greater rights for Ethiopia’s Oromo people are saying that they are responsible for the leak.
According to Jawar Mohammed, an ardent Oromo activist and Director of the Oromo Media Network (OMN), the decision to sabotage the national University entrance exam was taken after the government deliberately ignored the repeated call for the postponement of the exam so that Oromo students would have enough time to study since their high schools had been closed for more than six months due to a series of protests that engulfed their region last year.
The Ministry of Education as well as the state owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) had initially denied claims of the leaked exam pictures circulating around social media. Instead stated that they will proceed as per their schedule. However, the ministry later acknowledged the English paper code 12 has been leaked.
“Like any other person, we found the information from internet. After a cross check, we decided to terminate the whole exams since we had no evidence that the other exams were safe,” said Shiferaw Shigute, Minister of Education.
The ministry maintained that it has an alternative plan for the exams so that another new exam date to be announced after logistical issues have been resolved.
Reports suggests that the government spends more than 280 million Birr to undertake the national exam through out the country.