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22 October, 2020 05:41:28 PM

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Are HSC examinees really lucky this year?

Despite the fact that an auto pass gives them mental relief of taking no exam amid these uncertainties, more than ever the path to their university admission and successful career seems to be circuitous
By Mahde Hassan
Are HSC examinees really lucky this year?

HSC examinees in 2020, for the first time in history of Bangladesh, will attain grades without appearing in the exam. The decision of cancelling exams seems to be a good decision apparently under the extenuating situation.

But this could make their career path arduous in the long run.

Admittedly, with over 5,723 deaths and close to 4 lakhs infection cases across the country, the people of Bangladesh are struggling to tackle Covid-19. Considering the spike of Covid-19 and avoiding the potential second wave of the outbreak predicted by the healthcare specialists, this decision is not irrational at all, rather admirable. This is primarily because this does not require candidates to be exposed to the pandemic.

In the contrary, if the far-crying ramifications are taken into account about the capricious decision, the impacts on students’ life in the future cannot be brushed aside. First and foremost, students having awarded grades based on their JSC and SSC results are susceptible to social negligence and bullying from their neighbours, seniors and many others.

Jarin Tasnim, an HSC examinee from Milestone College, says ‘Our neighbours and seniors often mock at us saying that we are earning certificates without taking test, which makes me embarrassed.’ It drags our mental state down – she added.

There is no denying the fact that as they are teenagers now, they have little or no experience of handling mental pressure, which in turn may multiply their anxieties. What would you say to them who had sound preparation and aspiration for obtaining better grades despite poor marks in SSC and JSC exams.

Sarwar Hossain, an examinee from Notre Dame College, ended up with poor grades in JSC exam just because he lost his mother before the exam, and few months later he lost his father which led him to attain poor grades in SSC exam. Nevertheless, he almost recovered that psychological shock and targeted HSC exam to compensate these earlier poor academic performances. Ironically, this time, the exam has been cancelled, leading him to the verge of despair for the third time.

Furthermore, question remains that if these HSC candidates find a smooth way while pursuing higher education abroad. Whether or not the foreign universities accept these candidates remains a big concern. If yes, will they be capable of competing with other international students? It is to be noted that the cancellation of the exam does not necessitate candidates to study and prepare intensively for the exam.

Beyond doubt, this will serve as a means of detachment with study for the candidates. This is eventually well-assumed that their spirit will no longer be as strong as it used to be because traditionally Bangladeshi students are accustomed to studying hard when the exam is close to hand. As there is no exam ahead, this might slow down their spirit of perseverance, therefore, not urging them to study hard and encouraging them to goof off, even if the biggest battle of university admission test is soon to come for them.

Despite the fact that this could give them mental relief of taking no exam amid these uncertainties, more than ever the path to their university admission and successful career seems to be circuitous. Undoubtedly, university admission tests are the most competitive academic test in Bangladesh. In 2019-20 session, for example, 191 applicants battled for a single seat in Jahangirnagar University, followed by Dhaka University  where 39 students vied for a single admission spot; 34 each battled for a single place in Rajshahi University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology whereas 11 candidates competed for one single seat in BUET, as per a report published in a local English daily. So the extent of the competition can be comprehended clearly.

What’s notable is that as these HSC candidates do not have to fight for making good results due to an auto pass, this, in turn, indicates that the process will deprive them of growing a sense of competition, resulting in no apparent flourish in their skills and knowledge.

Among nearly 13 lakhs candidates this year, many were waiting and prepping for exams to be held with having no prior hints of the cancellation of exam beforehand by the education ministry.

Now, they will not have to earn grades by studying. As a result, this inexperience of participating in competition is likely to make them suffer once they get into university admission procedure, higher studies abroad and professional life. Therefore, they could fall behind their counterparts while competing in job market and in other crucial stages of life.

How would you justify a missed opportunity to those who will potentially be deprived of getting admitted into their dream universities merely due to their poor grades in HSC based on the result of their grade 8 and grade 10, not earned by their actual effort in the last couple of years?

What’s more, there is certain eligibility for applying to certain universities without which students cannot even take part in the admission test. But the auto pass results might not be up to the mark providing their earlier academic results are poor, confining them to limited scope of admission into their desired universities. It in a way rules out the possibility of securing their undergrad destination in their expected institutes resulting in lifetime frustration.

It is worth noting, since students are allowed to pass with flying colours, the assiduous and painstaking students have no options left to bounce back despite their sound preparation. If there were an option of rechecking the results or retaking the exams in case someone is unhappy with his or her result, it could be a great way to generalize and stereotype their results and thus not depriving them of making the full use of their talent and hard work.

In this age of technological advancement, there could be other strategies that can perhaps be adopted to arrange a successful examination. The alternative to examination is only examination. Nothing else can bridge the gap of their career as they are encouraged to pass their time dilly dallying with no exam around the corner. But the university admission battle? Could that be exempted as well? If not, then there is a series of challenges waiting for this year’s HSC candidates.

The writer is pursuing bachelor’s majoring in English at East West University. Email: [email protected]

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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