Turkish, Egyptian students commiserate about in-person exams, classes

Turkish and Egyptian students gathered on Twitter to criticize their governments' policies to allow in-person education and even holding in-person exams. The hashtags "Turkish students' lives matter" and "Egyptian students' lives matter" received millions of tweets in support of the cause.

Students wearing face masks gather during an event at a school in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 17, 2020.

Duvar English

Turkish and Egyptian students voiced solidarity with each other on Twitter on Feb. 24 as both states are adopting in-person education again after a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hashtag "Turkish students' lives matter" received more than 2.4 million mentions on Twitter after Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk revealed on Feb. 21 that he would reject students' calls on him to postpone in-person examinations.

Some students start in-person education on March 1 anyways, the minister noted, adding that some 40 percent of the students have already completed their exams. 

"Postponing your exams today will cause your workload to increase drastically in the near future," the minister said in a Feb. 21 statement on Twitter.

Turkish students have been petitioning the ministry to further delay in-person classes and exams, while Egyptian students have been in school for a while. 

Egypt approved a hybrid attendance schedule for the upcoming academic year in mid-February, with exams scheduled for Feb. 27.

Egyptian students joined Turkish students on Twitter to protest having in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tweeting with the hashtag "Egyptian students' lives matter."

The Turkish education ministry's decision to resume in-class education comes despite a petition by a Turkish deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) who wrote an open letter to the minister to urge him to adhere to the students' wishes to postpone in-person classes.