Egypt’s Thanawiya Amma examinations, the secondary school diploma exams which students have to pass to enter university, start on 21 June, under very strict cautionary measures to protect against COVID-19 contagion.
With places at universities far below the numbers of students who wish to enroll, the competition is fierce. It has become customary for Coptic students to have Communion before the exams begin. This did not appear to be possible this year, since churches are closed on account of COVID-19.
The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Fayoum (some 100km southwest Cairo) announced it would allow students of Thanawiya Amma and technical education to have Communion next Sunday 14 June, one week ahead of their exams. The Diocese announced that cautionary measures against COVID-19 will be stringent and mandatory.
Only Thanawiya Amma students may partake of Communion, they will be allowed through the church gates only if they show their exam seat numbers. They should be at the church only a half-hour before Communion, wearing masks and gloves, and should keep a safe distance from their peers. Their body temperature will be checked so that no student with any fever would be allowed inside. They should line up in the church courtyard or an inner corridor for Communion, keeping their distances, and leave directly once they have partaken of it.
No exceptions are to be allowed.
8 June 2020