Students worried over varsity entry test

Authorities yet to finalise admission process

The mass passing in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations this year has received mixed reaction from the candidates and guardians as well as many hailed the government decision while others expressed disappointment over the move.

A good number of students, who expected to do better results, along with their guardians have showed disappointed as they feel such mass passing can lead to serious complications during university admission tests. Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, while announcing the government’s decision on Wednesday, hinted that this year’s university admission test could be taken in uniform manner on January.

 “We hope that it will be possible to conduct all types of university exams in a uniform/combined way this time”, she said, adding, “The decision on how the university admission test will be conducted will be made after discussing with the university authorities concerned and considering the coronavirus situation at that time.”

However, the university authorities are skeptical about whether it will be possible for thousands of students to take part in the exams amid COVID-19.

Moreover, the students and guardians raised their concern about the possible second wave of coronavirus infection during December-January period as it will be winter season.

More than 13 lakh candidates will pass this year’s HSC and equivalent examinations, which will more than 30 percent higher than previous examinations. 

A total of 13,36,629 students sat for HSC and equivalent exams in 2019 and 26.02 percent of them failed, according to education board officials.

Besides, the fail rate was 33.36 percent in 2018, 31.09 percent in 2017, 25.3 percent in 2016 and 30.4 percent in 2015.

As there is no fail in the HSC exam this year, there is a deep concern among the students about getting admission in the prestigious universities. Guardians are also concerned with their children.

“I’m happy that I got GPA-5 in JSC and SSC. But it will be tough to get chance in a good public university as only the admission test will judge our merit. However, we do not know in which method it will be conducted,” said Nusrat Jahan, a HSC candidate from Rajuk Uttora Model College.

About admission test, Chittagong University Teachers Association (CUTA) President Professor Emdadul Haque told The Bangladesh Post that “The students secure their seats in the university by taking part in the competitive examination. But, this year, the university authorities concerned are not sure about the method under which the test will be taken.”

About conducting uniform admission test and whether it would be possible for students to physically attend the admission tests amid COVID-19, he said, “In uniform method, the university admission can be taken place like BCS examinations, which usually hold in all divisions at the same time. But, it will not be possible to maintain physical distance.”

On the other hand, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Professor Akhtaruzzaman told The Bangladesh Post that “Our Admission Committee and Deans Committee have decided on which method the admission test will be conducted.” 

Asked whether the Dhaka University would take part in the uniform admission test, the vice-chancellor said, “We will conduct faculty-based exams. The further decision will be taken in the academic council meeting.”

Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will sit in a meeting with the vice-chancellors of public universities on October 15. In the meeting, they will discuss on online classes and first year admission test.

About the meeting, Jagannath University Vice-Chancellor Prof Mizanur Rahman said, “No decision has been taken yet on when the university will reopen. However, all decisions cannot be made through online meeting on important issues like admission test. Admission test must be taken if the situation becomes good. There is no alternative to it.”