It is impossible to begin HSC exams during the novel coronavirus outbreak
The examinees of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations, admission aspirants for higher secondary studies and their guardians are worried about Covid-19's impact on academic careers as they have yet to hear the exam and admission dates.
The Education Ministry is also determined not to start the HSC examinations 2020 and admission for 2020-21 academic session for eleventh grade before the Covid-19 situation is normalised.
As a result, the HSC exams and admission are now uncertain.
Dhaka Education Board Chairman Ziaul Haque told The Business Standard on Friday that it was impossible to begin the HSC examinations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Thousands of students, guardians, teachers and staff will gather and make a crowded situation during the examinations across the country. It will contribute to spreading the virus to more people. So, no examinations will be held before the situation normalises," he said.
"We cannot create a risk of novel coronavirus infections for everyone in starting the examinations," he added.
About the admission for the 2020-21 academic session of higher secondary education, he said, "We have no plans to start the admission process right now."
Mentioning that they were waiting for a good environment, he said, "We can introduce the admission process online. However, there is also risk as a minimum of half a crore people will move for this."
About 13 lakh students were expected to sit for the HSC and equivalent examinations. The examinations had been scheduled to be held at over 9,000 educational institutions under 10 education boards—eight general, one madrassa and one technical education board.
The examinations were scheduled to be held from April 1. However, in the meantime, all educational institutions were closed from March 17 in anticipation of the spread of novel coronavirus across the country. Later, the dates for HSC examinations were also postponed.
A total of 16,90,523 students out of 20,40,028 students – 8,33,892 boys and 8,56,631 girls – passed the exams from 28,796 institutions and 3,603 centres under 11 education boards across the country this year.
Almost every one of them are eagerly waiting to gain admission to their favourite institutions. However, they don't know how much time they will have to wait.
In the last year, the higher secondary educational institutions started their classes from July 1. However, it is uncertain this year.
S M Amirul Islam, controller of Dhaka Education Board told The Business Standard that the board authorities published the Secondary School Certificate Examination results taking a huge risk. However, it is difficult and also not possible to start the HSC exams.
"We have made many plans to fix the date of the examinations. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 erased all plans. So, there are no other options but wait for the normalisation of the situation," he said.
Meanwhile, some students, who passed the SSC examinations this year, have started online coaching for higher secondary studies. The students and their guardians said that it will have some negative impacts on them if they are detached from study for a long time.
Sujat Hossain, one of such students, got admission at Bangladesh Cadet Academy for participating in online classes of physics, chemistry and higher math.
"I cannot meet with my friends because of the novel coronavirus. It will also be tough to stay home without a job. That is why I was admitted to the coaching centre. Now I feel good as the teaching delivery is wonderful," he said.
Secretary (Secondary and Higher Education Division) of the Education Ministry Mahbub Hossain said the cases of novel coronavirus infected patients are increasing daily. So, the situation is not favourable for taking the examinations.
"We are monitoring the situation," he added.
Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, an eminent educator, told The Business Standard that the education ministry must prepare a long plan to recover the academic losses of the students.
"Otherwise it will be tough for the government to tackle the situation after the outbreak," he added.