The technical committee formed by the government to find alternatives to the conventional public examinations amid the Covid outbreak would recommend holding public examinations online only after developing required facilities and training of teachers, committee member secretary SM Amirul Islam said.
Amirul said that the committee would recommend developing facilities like making devices available to all candidates and ensuring uninterrupted internet connectivity, and training of teachers soon to hold public examinations online amid disasters like the Covid outbreak.
‘The technical committee would give such recommendations considering the facts that all students do not have required devices and internet connectivity and examiners are not prepared for making questions for and evaluating answers of online public examinations,’ Amirul, also the Dhaka Education Board controller of examination, told New Age on Sunday.
Taking public examinations online in Bangladesh will be a challenging task as an estimated 23 lakh students take Secondary School Certificate and Higher Secondary Certificate examinations and many of them live in remote areas where there is no internet connectivity, he said, adding that ensuring transparency would be another major challenge.
‘We will submit a report with specific recommendations to the education ministry soon after holding a meeting physically as the committee held all its previous meetings online,’ Amirul.
The education ministry formed the 15-member technical committee, headed by Dhaka Education Board chairman Nehal Ahmed, in April.
The committee comprised representatives from Dhaka Education Board, Jashore Education Board, Madrassah Education Board, Technical Education Board, Bangladesh Education Development Unit, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Access to Information, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and teachers of three schools and colleges.
The government is looking for alternatives as it had to cancel Higher Secondary Certificate, Junior School Certificate and Primary Education Completion examinations in 2020 due to the Covid outbreak.
Usually, SSC examinations are held in February and HSC examinations in April but the government is in confusion over when it will reopen educational institutions for resuming classes and holding pending examinations amid the surge in Covid infections.
The education ministry on March 25 extended the closure of schools, colleges and madrassahs till May 22.
While announcing the extension, education minister Dipu Moni said that the government made customised syllabuses for holding SSC examinations after taking 60 face-to-face classes and HSC examinations after 80 classes.
Candidates of public examinations said that the uncertainty over examinations was affecting their concentration in studies and a kind of alienation was growing in them.
Many of them feared that they would not be able to score marks as per their calibre for not being able to attend face-to-face classes from March 2020.
‘The online classes that the schools arrange are not effective and I am losing patience. We need to have face-to-face classes regularly and take some mock tests as our seniors did,’ said Md Mobarak Hossain, a SSC candidate.
‘But we do not know when our classes will resume or we will sit for the SSC examinations,’ Mobarak added.
The national technical advisory committee on Covid-19 on April 20 advised the government not to open educational institutions until they gave further recommendations.
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