The Ministry of Education has adopted a new measure to prevent teachers from helping students, to whom they are related or otherwise linked, cheat on the Tawjihi (General Secondary School Certificate Examination).
As of the coming Tawjihi winter session, scheduled to begin December 31, teachers will not be allowed to supervise exams in any hall where students they are related to are present, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Ayman Barakat, who indicated that the new policy seeks to control the integrity of the Tawjihi.
Every teacher proctoring the exams will now be required to declare under oath that he or she does not have a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, or wife taking the examination in the same school or hall, Barakat explained.
Under the new policy, he added, supervisors are also required to swear that they have no other connection with the students sitting for the exam in the same hall, such as having given them private tutoring.
In remarks to The Jordan Times, some teachers commented that the new policy may help prevent teachers from offering assistance to students to whom they are related, but indicated that it will not be enough to protect the integrity of the exam.
Ziad Obeidat, a teacher at an Irbid school who has worked as a Tawjihi supervisor for six consecutive years, stressed that the ministry has always asked the exam’s proctors to declare whether they have relatives in the examination halls.
“The oath will not be enough to ensure that the Tawjihi exams are free of cheating,” he said, elaborating that protecting the integrity of the exam has more to do with ensuring that teachers abide by the oath.
Bassem Nazzal, a teacher in Zarqa, said he supports the ministry’s measure to curb cheating, but observed that the oath may not be “very vital” in preserving transparency in the examination.
He noted that the ministry adopted the new policy after discovering that teachers offering unfair help to students has become a common practice.
According to education ministry figures, around 18,000 teachers are scheduled to monitor the winter session of Tawjihi late this year, when some 157,501 students are expected to sit for the exam.
The ministry has allocated 1,900 examination halls for the session, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.