It is impossible to imagine what it means to have a family member going through the Tawjiih exams; the Palestinian national high school examination. As a former student who went through this nightmare, I can easily relate to the feelings of those who go through these exams. A whole year of tension, two months of terror, and two weeks of horror, and a week of anticipation in waiting, and then FIREWORKS.

I really cannot rationalize the firework and the extreme happiness and celebrations. They become fatal in many occasions. This year a graduate who got 97 as a grade  (which is excellent) died after a bullet “of celebration” killed him by his celebrating family.

Many were reported burning in different areas as a result of fireworks.

Car accidents were reports as graduates were dancing on top of the cars.

I do understand that the excessive reaction to success is logical measuring the extreme stress that the students, schools, and families go through during the year of the Tawjihi.

As a mother of one Tawjihi graduate, I got at certain moments during the examination time when I was ready to let her not go to the examinations. I was dead worried that the girl will have a heart attack, I was concerned later about the result, that in the case it turned not within her expectation the girl will undoubtedly collapse. I was even worried she would not pass the exams.

Everything in the student life gets on a stake. The grade is what marks the size of brain and worthiness of the student, and hence his family who managed to get a child with a high degree. It is, of course, the contrary as well if the student did not pass or gets a modest grade, it is a shame that will be attached to the student and his family for the rest of his life.

The current minister of education promised changes in the system when he was ” temporarily” assigned in this “temporarily” government. He sounded promising when he said he would bring remarkable changes and even gets us rid of this nightmare.

He did change ….the name of the Tawjihi to Injaz. Injaz in English is the accomplishment. In reality, nothing changed in the exam and its structure as well as its pressuring, based on memorizing, no creativity system except that name!

The minister himself send his children to schools that do not put students into this nightmare. (An International School with IB system) . I admit, that I agree with the minister in not sending his children to national and private schools who are forced to apply the Tawjihi system, but how many families can afford to d that? Moreover, on top of all, in a country like ours, education should be at least capable on the governmental level. The fact that we are forced to send our children to go to private schools for better societal, educational and cultural environment,s is a significant backlash of the ministry’s and government’s achievements.. or no results.

I am happy the nightmare is over… I am also glad my daughter passed successfully… but I insist..this is a system that needs to be terminated.


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