CAIRO: Some of Egyptian students held in Sudan on charges of leaking high school exams carried forged graduation certificates, Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram stated on Tuesday in television interviews.
Makram arrived in Sudan more than a week ago, where she negotiated the students’ crisis, and reached an agreement with Sudanese authorities to release them.
Some 32 Egyptians, including 26 students and 6 members of their families, were arrested in Sudan last month over involvement in cheating and selling high school exams, which Makram stated that is enrolled under “national security issues” in the African neighbor country.
In a phone call with ONTV channel Tuesday, the minister noted that the case had a security perspective, but the Sudanese authorities ‘were very understanding.’ She added that the Egyptian might be released on Wednesday.
She explained that some of the students were accused of cheating through being dictated by their families via hidden headphones, while others were accused of collaborating with Jordanian students, who directed a “cell” to sell exams for $1,500- $5,000. Makram added that Whatsapp calls and messages were taken as evidences against the students.
After news their children were arrested in Sudan, some relatives reported that they were unable to contact the students or even ascertain their whereabouts for at least a week.
Previously speaking to The Cairo Post, Mohamed Helmy, the uncle of one of the detained students, said that his nephew was taken from outside the school, while some others were taken from homes; he denied the accusations as “illogical.”
At least 22 of the detained students come from Kafr el-Sheikh governorate. Over the past years, hundreds of students, originally from the Delta’s governorate, have sought to obtain their high school degree from Sudan, due to a popular belief they could get higher scores that would enable them to enroll at top faculties.
However, the practice has been identified by the Ministry of Higher Education, which promised to control this violation after discovering that many of those with Sudanese high school degrees applying for university had already received a degree from Egypt, according to a last year interview on Dar Akhbar el-Youm with the Minister of Higher Education Ashraf el-Shehy.