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High school exams kick off in the West Bank and Gaza

May 28, 2016 4:21 P.M. (Updated: May 29, 2016 10:00 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Saturday, approximately 78,000 Palestinian students sat down to begin the first step in a process that will likely determine their futures.

Saturday marked the first session of the high school exams where students seek to obtain the General Secondary Certificate, or as it is known in Arabic: “Tawjihi."

The Tawjihi certificate is equivalent to a high school completion certificate, and is required for students who wish to pursue undergraduate studies. Not only is the certificate required for university admissions, the score on the test determines which field of study (Medicine, Engineering, Finance, etc.) a student will be allowed to pursue.

This testing system is implemented in Palestine as well as other Arab countries, and due to the definitive and determinate nature of the exams, they are known to generate high levels of stress among the student populations.

Undersecretary of Ministry of Education in the Gaza Strip Ziad Thabit said in a press conference that the “difficult conditions” in which the students live in the besieged coastal enclave and the occupied West Bank is something that the Ministry of Education takes into account.

He simultaneously lauded all participating students in the Gaza Strip for sitting for the exam “despite dire conditions caused by Israeli siege and military offensives.”

Palestinian universities and their students in the occupied West Bank are also frequently disrupted and targeted by Israeli military forces, and campuses have come under increased military presence since an increase in violence in October.

In 2016 alone, Ma’an reported at least six university raids between Birzeit University in Ramallah, Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, Arab American University in Jenin, and Al-Khadoori Univeristy in Tulkarem, which was raided twice in 18 hours.
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