In a deeply troubling series of events over the past week, numerous Egyptian high school students, gripped with concern over their performance in the national secondary school standardised examinations, have reportedly attempted suicide. These exams hold significant weight, as they are the determining factor for admission into the country’s universities.
On Monday, an 18-year-old pupil from the Nasr City district of Cairo was rushed to hospital, following a failed suicide attempt, confirmed by the local authorities. The exam results were still pending at the time of the incident, but investigators have unearthed that the pupil was facing severe psychological stress.
Elsewhere, in the southern province of Sohag, a student tragically ended her own life mere minutes after being informed of her examination results. The inquiry by the local prosecutor’s office revealed that the student had not managed to pass several subjects, contributing to her despair.
Further incidents have taken place in the province of Qalyubia, where four female students attempted suicide. They are now receiving medical treatment in hospital, the police reports suggest.
In another concerning episode, three more students from the province of Sharqia also attempted suicide, including a young girl who was gripped by fear over her family’s potential reaction to her exam results, according to officials.
The results of these national secondary school exams, which ultimately decide the students’ future career pathways, have placed an immense amount of pressure on the students. Experts are urging a comprehensive review of the system, and an increased focus on providing psychological support to students.