The Ministry of Primary and Mass Education has sent a proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requesting her to cancel the Primary Education Certificate (PEC) examinations this year.
The summary of the recommendation was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday signed by the State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain and Senior Secretary ofthe ministry Md Akram-al-Hossain.
Now, the cancellation of the PEC and Ibtedayi examinations depends on Prime Minister’s decision.
However, the students will not be promoted automatically to the next class (Six). They will be evaluated by their respective institutions.
Senior Secretary of the ministry Md Akram-al-Hossain told Bangladesh Post, “We have sent a summary of recommendations regarding cancelation of PEC examinations, but the prime minister will make the final decision.”
About the reopening of schools, he said, “Reopening of schools depends entirely on the Covid-19 situation of the country.”
According to ministry sources, no scholarship will be offered this year if the PEC tests are cancelled.
Meanwhile, the ministry has set a guideline on reopening schools although the date is yet to be decided.
According to the ministry’s plan, 80 percent of the syllabus will be covered if schools reopen in September, 70 percent if in October and 60 percent if in November.
The duration of the primary education calendar consists of 131 working days from January 1 to November 17.
Only 30 to 35 percent (40 days) of the working days was covered till March 16. Primary educational institutions will remain closed till August 31.
The National Academy for Primary Education said another 50 working days are a must to make students eligible for promotion to the next grade.
According to the summary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, some countries reopened schools in compliance with strict hygiene rules considering the coronavirus pandemic situation. Japan, South Africa and South Korea reopened schools but closed immediately due to increased number of infections.
Considering the Covid-19 infection situation, it has not been decided to reopen educational institutions in Bangladesh yet. Even if the schools open in September, parents may not send their children to school. This will create inequality between students who go to school and others who do not.
According to the revised lesson plan, about 50 more working days are required to take the PEC examinations. If the school does not open in September, it will not be possible to complete the remaining syllabus between November and December.
Educationists welcomed the ministry’s recommendations for not holding the PEC tests this year.
Chittagong University Teachers Association (CUTA) President Professor Emdadul Haque told Bangladesh Post, “No situation prevails in the country to hold public examinations like PEC, JSC exams yet. It will be a good decision if the ministry do not hold PEC examinations.
Besides, Professor emeritus of BRAC University Manzoor Ahmed lauded the recommendations to cancel PEC tests centrally, and also urged the government to cancel JSC exams.
“Please do not hold PEC and JSC exams. Find out another way to evaluate the students and promote them to the next grade,” headded.