SSC, HSC exams

Uncertainty worries Bangladesh teachers, students

Ershad Kamol | Published: 00:00, Nov 26,2020 | Updated: 10:15, Nov 26,2020


Uncertainty prevails over the secondary school certificate examinations and higher secondary certificate examinations as the government had cancelled all examinations at educational institutions amid the COVID-19 outbreak early last month.

As per the latest order, the institutions are to remain closed till December 19.

Students, parents and teachers of different schools and colleges told New Age that the candidates of the upcoming SSC and HSC examinations were feeling demotivated regarding the public examinations.

They also pointed out that most students were not seriously attending the online classes that the schools and colleges were holding amid the closure of the institutions.

Normally, they said, students usually spend most of their time studying ahead of the SSC and HSC examinations usually held in February and April respectively. 

‘As days go by, students are deviating from their goals. They don’t even attend the online classes seriously as they are expecting that no test examinations will be held and the public examinations may also be cancelled,’ Government laboratory high school head teacher Md Abu Sayeed Bhuiyan told New Age.

‘As our teachers contacted the parents, they said that the students were not attentive and sincere in studies as they believe that the government might cancel the SSC exams as was the case with the last HSC examinations,’ Abu Sayeed said.

South Point School and College principal Hamida Ali said that the SSC and HSC examinations candidates would not be able to acquire the expected results as the institutions had remained closed since March.

‘They are now going through a kind of “auto-pass syndrome” after the cancellation of examinations one after another and the extension of the closure of the educational intuitions due to the outbreak,’ she added.

There has been a gradual waning of enthusiasm and the online classes failed to engage the students, she added.

Md Serjaul Islam, father of a Class-X student, said that his son Sameer hardly sat and concentrated on his studies and instead had been passing time with mobile devices or playing with friends.

Sameer admitted that each day he was losing his motivation as uncertainty looms over the reopening of educational institutions.

The education minister Dipu Moni in an online press briefing on Wednesday also failed to assure that things would revert back to normal soon.

She said that both the upcoming SSC and HSC examinations would be deferred as the ministry had undertaken a plan to hold face-to-face classes of the SSC and HSC candidates at least for three months.

Classes would commence based on a short syllabus after reopening educational intuitions, she pointed out, adding, ‘But we don’t know when the time will come to reopen educational institutions as COVID-19 cases are on rise in the country after the second wave of the virus has hit the world.’

She announced that there would not be any admission tests this year at schools and students will get admissions via a lottery system.

She said that the instruction would be applicable for the admission seekers from Class-I to Class-IX in all types of educational institutions excepting the cadet colleges, which are under the defence ministry.

‘We will discuss the issue with the defence ministry requesting them to take admissions through a lottery system,’ Dipu Moni said. 

She explained that the decision to not allow schools to hold admission tests was taken considering the health issue of children.

She said that the decision had been taken after considering three options — taking admission tests following the conventional system, taking admission tests online and through a lottery system,’ she said.

But the experts, head teachers of different schools and officials of both education ministry and the primary education ministry decided in favour of the lottery system, she said.

Holding admission tests following the conventional method, she said, would not be possible amid the COVID-19 outbreak when access to 100 per cent admission seekers would not be possible through online admission tests.

‘This year, we will also increase the catchment quota from 40 per cent to 50 per cent,’ she said.

Actions would be taken against the institutions which would not follow the instructions, warned Dipu Moni, adding that the details on the admission test would be announced by December 7.

She also said that the government would not put pressure on any university to take admission tests centrally. ‘But, we expect that they would behave sensibly,’ she added. 

Dipu Moni also said that the semester finals at the public universities and polytechnic institutes would be allowed soon maintaining the health guidelines.

The government had earlier cancelled primary education completion examinations, junior school certificate examinations and higher secondary certificate examinations. 

The educational institutions remained closed from March though the government ordered institutions to continue academic activities through online classes.

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