Decision on evaluation models and extension of educational institution closure will be disclosed next week
The Ministry of Education has prepared three alternative evaluation models for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry has prepared the evaluation models as substitutes for the regular models of the HSC and equivalent exams in the event the situation requires such a move.
“We have taken full preparations to arrange the HSC exams. But if that is not possible, then we will select an alternative. We have prepared some alternatives to evaluate examinees in varying situations,” said Education Minister Dipu Moni.
She also said that the shutdown of educational institutions across the country, except for the Qawmi madrasas, would be extended further.
The minister was speaking at a virtual dialogue with journalists on Wednesday.
However, both issues – deciding on alternative models for evaluating HSC examinees’ performance and details on an extension of the shutdown – would be disclosed next week, according to the education minister.
Dipu Moni also confirmed that the HSC examinees would get at least four weeks for preparation.
The HSC and equivalent exams were scheduled to start on April 1, but the exams were deferred because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Three options for HSC exams
According to senior officials of the Education Ministry, the authorities have taken preparations to hold the HSC examination on all subjects and readied the question papers. But as Covid-19 is still not under control and six months have already gone, they are now mulling three alternatives.
The first alternative is to take exams on all subjects, but exam time and total marks will be reduced. Two tests may be taken in a day in that situation.
The second option is to take exams on selected subjects which are most important. In this case, the subjects that are not selected for physical exams will be evaluated on the basis of the mark sheets of previous tests, such as Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Junior School Certificate (JSC) exams.
The third option is to cancel the HSC examination. In this situation, HSC examinees of this year will be evaluated based on the mark sheets of their SSC and JSC exams.
However, Dipu Moni said: “We do not want to cancel the HSC exams. At the same time, we do not want to endanger the future of our students. So we will arrive at a major decision by next Monday or Tuesday.”
Apart from these, regarding examinees who themselves or their families get infected with Covid-19, the ministry is preparing an evaluation method for them as well.
“If a student is infected with Covid-19, we will not allow him or her in the exam hall,” she added.
Education institutions to remain shut
Dipu Moni said: “The shutdown will be extended. However, we will declare before October 3 for how long it will be extended.”
Educational institutions have remained closed since March 17, with the latest extension scheduled to expire on October 3.
However, Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, deputy minister of education, said it was not possible to keep educational institutions shut for a long time.
“All of us should contribute to creating public awareness about reopening the educational institutions as all of our activities are going on except in the educational institutions,” he added.
Earlier in March, the government ordered a shutdown of all schools, colleges and universities, soon after the country reported the first cases of Covid-19 on March 8.
The government has been running a distance-learning program through Sangsad Television for schools and colleges. Classes are taking place online for primary and secondary level students as well.
Many universities have already started online classes to keep up with course work and avoid session jams.