HSC exams begin in Bangladesh

After a delay of nearly seven months due to the pandemic, the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams for the academic session 2020-21 began on Thursday, following all Covid-safety protocols.

Some 13,99,690 students are eligible to take the high-stakes exams this year. The number was 13,65,789 last year — a 2.48% rise.

While 11,38,017 candidates are supposed to appear for the HSC exams under nine general education boards, 1,13,114 are eligible to take the Alim exams under the Madrasa Education Board and 1,48,503 the vocational exams under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board this year.

Besides, 406 students are slated to appear for the HSC exams from abroad. Some 2,621 centres have been designated as HSC exam hubs across the country.

This year, the SSC and the HSC exams could not be held as per schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the government decided to hold the exams with shortened syllabi.

The SSC and equivalent exams that began on November 14 concluded on November 23 while the HSC and equivalent exams will conclude on December 30.

Besides, all coaching centres across the country will remain shut from November 25 to January 3 in view of the exams.

Educational institutions across the country had remained closed since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure was extended several times.

Finally, the government reopened schools and colleges on September 13, following an improvement in the Covid-19 situation.

Last year’s HSC examinees were evaluated on the basis of their results of JSC and SSC exams, a decision which evoked a mixed reaction.

Education Minister Dipu Moni has urged all to maintain all health protocols so that the HSC exams can be held without any disruption.

“Concerns are growing as a new variant of the coronavirus, ‘Omicron’, has been identified. It’s more infectious. We need to remain very careful,” she said at a programme at Chandpur Press Club on Tuesday evening.

The Minister, however, expressed dissatisfaction “as many people are not wearing face masks”. “We should follow the hygiene rules and avoid public gatherings to contain the spread of the virus so that we don’t have to postpone the HSC exams.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh