National Exams: Paving the Way to The Future

Over 85,000 Grade 12 students in 856 exams centers sat the National Exams administered by the Ministry of Education in Aden in 2022

20 June 2022

Seven years of conflict in Yemen have led to a drastic deterioration of the education system. An estimated two million children are out of school due to poverty, conflict, and lack of educational opportunities.

Grade 12 is the last year of high school, after which students graduate and move to study at university. It was announced that Grade 12 students are to sit for National Exams on 15 May 2022. The last exam was history on 2 June 2022 for Art students, and biology on 5 June 2022 for Science students.

Over 85,000 Grade 12 students in 856 exams centers sat the National Exams administered by the Ministry of Education in Aden in 2022.

Khadija Abdullah Hassan is the Principal of October 14th Girls' Secondary School in Al-Mualla, Aden. She explains the role the school administration plays during exams. "Our role as admins is to provide students with appropriate conditions and make them feel comfortable while taking their exams because these exams are of great importance to them,” she says.

Grade 12 National Exams are critical in determining students’ future. “The exams are important because they measure the level of students after finishing their secondary education. They cover all the subjects students have learnt in school. Students will reap the benefits of their studies in their daily life and during their studies at university,” says Khadijah. “The exams prepare students for studying at university: many students’ goal of after finishing high school.”

Mona Mohammed, 17 years old, sitting for the Grade 12 National Exam at October 14th Girls School in Al-Mualla, Aden, Yemen.

"Exams are important to me, as they will determine my future and which university I will be able to enroll in,"says Adilah, an 18-year-old senior high student at October 14th Secondary School.

“I was too nervous and under a lot of pressure because I had too much to study. Add to that the deterioration in our living conditions,” Adela says emotionally. “I cannot study enough because electricity is cut most of the time; I can neither use electric lights or use fans and ACs to feel cooler while studying,” she explains bitterly.

UNICEF has provided support to conduct Grade 12 National Exams in 2022, targeting 12 governorates. After passing the National Exams, students become qualified to enroll in their preferred university.

Khadijah emphasizes that there was an improvement in the educational process in the past two years in terms of students’ discipline. “KSrelief and UNICEF have contributed to improving the quality of education. They have also played an important role in the process of holding and organizing National Exams,” says Khadija.

Adilah wishes schools were equipped with systems that make exams more comfortable for students when it’s hot. “Ten years from now, I see myself as a successful engineer,” she concludes with a voice full of confidence.