Somalia: Students protest as government postpones exams after leak

Hundreds of Somali high school pupils took to the streets of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Tuesday to protest the cancellation of national exams after the papers were leaked on social media.

Education Minister Abdullahi Godah Bare on Monday announced that the six exams that had already been taken were cancelled, and that the whole process would begin again at the end of May. According to the education minister the postponement of the national high school exams came after discovering that papers were being sold and shared.

Abdullahi Godah Bare stated that his ministry would take further steps to ensure that the exam is not leaked next time and there is the possibility of disabling online social media platforms in the country during the five days of the exams.

Examination papers were in the hands of government’s special educational committee but the minister did not elaborate on how the papers were distributed via social media.

The cancellation has sparked student protests in the capital, Mogadishu.  Students took to the streets in anger chanting slogans against the minister of education Abdullahi Godah Bare.    The minister has in his turn claimed that the demonstrators were not students but unruly elements.

The cancellation of exams affects some 31,000 students in the Horn of Africa country. Each student has paid more than 20 US dollars for the final exam’s participation, and students have to pay again while some of them could not afford such money as they are from poor families.

Some of the students vowed not to repeat the exam. “We will not accept to redo this exam and we don’t want that. This is corruption which we have nothing to do with, it is them (the government) who have sold the exam and they have failed their responsibilities,” said a protestor.

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