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HSC exams cancelled: Will the batch of 2020 suffer because of it?

  • Published at 08:42 pm October 7th, 2020
File Photo: A father tries to console his broken down daughter after she failed to secure her desired result in the HSC exams at a college in Dhaka on July 19, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Students to be evaluated based on results of two major public examinations they sat for previously, which may lead to some issues

The government has decided not to hold this year's Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As many as 1,365,689 students were supposed to sit for the exams.

Now they will be evaluated on the basis of the results of the two major public examinations they sat for previously — Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and their equivalent examinations.

Education Minister Dipu Moni said: “The decision has been taken considering the well-being of the examinees and their family members across the country.”

However, there are some issues that may cause sufferings for the HSC batch of 2020 as they are the first batch of students in the country who will get certificates without sitting for an exam.

Also Read- No HSC, equivalent exams this year, students to advance based on JSC, SSC results

Students who failed HSC or equivalent exams last year and were going to sit for it again this year will automatically pass based on their SSC and JSC results.

The pass rate will also be 100% for the first time in the country’s history. This could decrease the value of the certificates when these students go for higher studies or seek jobs.

Method of evaluation

By following the arithmetic mean method, evaluating students who continued to study the same discipline as they did in SSC should be easy. 

But what if a student was in the science group during SSC but shifted to business studies during HSC? Or studied business during SSC but changed to arts during HSC? Evaluating these students will not be an easy task.

For example, a student got A+ in physics, chemistry and biology in SSC exams. He later shifted to arts in college. Giving him A+ in history, economics and geography in HSC based on his SSC marks would not be logical. 

For her part, the education minister said the evaluation method was yet to be finalized. 

An advisory committee will be formed comprising experts from universities and officials from education boards. They will decide on the method and submit a report on it in the first week of November.

Higher education

HSC results are one of the most important factors when students seek admission at universities. Students choose their fields of study based on their results in the HSC exams.

If a student got low marks in a subject in SSC exams, he or she could try to do better in that particular subject in the HSC exams. But the students are now unable to do anything to change that as the exams have been cancelled.

For example, having an A+ in biology at either SSC or HSC level is mandatory if anyone wants to sit for a medical admission test. But if someone got lower than A+ in biology in his SSC exams, he will now not be able to get the requisite marks in the HSC exams either.

Dipu Moni said: “We cannot provide any opportunity for improvement as the HSC exams will not be held. The world is fighting just to survive; we cannot consider everything.”

However, she said the method of admission to higher education institutes had not been fixed yet. A decision would be taken after discussing the matter with the university authorities.

Job market

Hundreds of thousands of students apply for jobs right after passing the HSC exams in Bangladesh.

As they will now get certificates without taking the exam, they may face the prospect of being unable to come by unemployment. 

Nevertheless, the education minister has assured that the government will try to minimize such problems.

She said: “It may create confusion for employers as the job seekers will get certificates without sitting for the exam. But the government will work on it to minimize the problems. 

“The government will try to ensure that no one criticizes the HSC batch of 2020.”