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Over 12,000 students refuse to write school-leaving exams in Ethiopia

Thousands of students in the northern Ethiopian region of Amhara have walked out of the national school-leaving exams that determine their entry to universities.

Over 12,000 high school students refused to sit the exams, according to official figures.

A statement by the education ministry has not provided any reason for their refusal but it comes as authorities introduce new measures to curb what they called a rampant epidemic of cheating.

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Exam leaks have become common in recent years.

To limit the cheating, the government this year moved students – more than 500,000 in the first round alone – to different university campuses around the country. They were to be confined in the campuses for the exam period and prohibited from accessing mobile phones and the internet.

A second round of exams, for hundreds of thousands of students, was due to start on Thursday.

Amid the new measures, a student was killed and some security forces were injured when violence erupted after students tried to stage a walkout in Amhara.

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Another student had died earlier when a bridge collapsed in a university campus in the country’s south.

The exams are not taking place in the war-torn region of Tigray, where the federal government has not provided education for two years.

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