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Students caught off guard as exams shifted
Students and their guardians feel baffled and upset as the government all on a sudden shifts Junior School Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations scheduled for Sunday apparently to facilitate the programme of an Islamist group in the capital.
The examinations have been rescheduled for November 9, which was, as per the earlier schedule, a break between mathematics and science exams.
‘We have shifted the Sunday’s examinations to Friday, considering the problems likely to be faced by the examinees during the shukrana mahfil in the capital at 10:00am on Sunday,’ education minister Nurul Islam Nahid told New Age.
Al Haiyatul Ulia Lil Jamiaatil Qawmiya Bangladesh will hold the programme at Suhrawardy Udyan to express their gratitude for the enactment of a law to recognise Dawrae Hadith (Takmil) certificate in Qoumi Madrassah with the status of postgraduate degree of Islamic studies and Arabic.
This rescheduling will affect the preparation of students for the public examinations, guardians fear.
‘Now my daughter has to sit for mathematics examination on Thursday, English on Friday and science on Saturday without any break,’ said Jahanara Nargis, mother of a JSC examinee from Dhaka North City Corporation area.
She complained that it would be very difficult for the students to get prepared for these examinations.
Shamim Akhter, mother of two Sunnydale school students at Dhanmondi, said her children’s half yearly examinations had been suspended as the school authorities closed all classes of the school from PG to class XII on Sunday showing unavoidable circumstances.
Professor Mohammad Kaykobad of Bangladesh University of Science and Technology finds it very sad that the students got the message through this incident that their education is not an important matter, neither to the nation and nor to the country.
‘This incident clearly shows how all successive governments, including the incumbent one, evaluate the education,’ the professor notes.
‘But this has never happened earlier that a public examination has been shifted for a mahfil,’ he wonders.
Former caretaker government adviser and Campaign for Popular Education executive director Rasheda K Choudhury said that schedule of the examinations had been fixed a long time ago and the organisation should have considered it before holding any programme like this.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is supposed to attend the programme as chief guest.
Parents have said that the authorities should have considered the problems of the students before shifting of examinations.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on January 7 this year had said no rallies or gathering of any political, social and cultural organisations would be allowed on roads blocking spaces in the capital.
The education ministry on Saturday in a press release said that the examinations of the Junior School Secondary Certificate, Junior Dakhil Certificate and final examinations of Class IX (vocational) and Class IX (Dakhil vocational) under Bangladesh Technical Education Board scheduled for Sunday were suspended due to ‘unavoidable circumstances’.
All these examinations including English paper of regular JSC students, English 1st paper of irregular students and Arabic (2nd paper) for JDC students will begin at 9:00am on Friday.
Bangladesh Students’ Union in a press release condemned and protested at the government’s decision to shift the examinations without showing any reason.
The decision would hit the students’ psyche and affect their preparation, the release added.
‘Tomorrow there will be huge congestion till 10:00am,’ Nahid said, adding, ‘So, we have shifted the examinations so that our children do not suffer.’
About some school’s decision of cancelling examinations on Sunday, he said it was up to those school authorities and there was no such instruction from the ministry.
Nahid said the Election Commission urged the education ministry to complete all examinations by December 10. ‘We will comply with the request,’ he said.
On Saturday DMP said that the road stretched between Shahbagh and Matsya Bhaban would be closed for all and traffic around Suhrawardy Udyan would be controlled.
There may be diversions on different intersections including Banglamotors, Hotel Intercontinental, Shahbagh, Kataban, Nilkhet, Palashi, Bakshibazar, Chankharpool, Golapshah Mazar, Zero Point, Paltan, Kakrail, Officers’ Club, and Minto Road during the programme.
Participants of the mahfil are also being requested not to bring any handbag, trolley bag, flammable or sharp object to the venue.
The JSC and JDC examinations began across the country on Thursday with the participation of 26,70,333 examinees.
The law titled ‘Making Dawrae Hadith (Takmil) Certificate in Qoumi Madrassah Equivalent to Master’s Degree (Islamic Studies and Arabic)’ was passed in parliament on September 19.