The government should go for having short HSC exams on an abridged syllabus instead of assessing students based on their JSC and SSC results, said noted educators of the country.
The declared assessment method cannot be appreciated because it may devalue the hard work of many examinees who were hoping for better scores in the HSC compared to those in the JSC or SSC exams, they added.
The education ministry yesterday declared the cancellation of this year's Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams and evaluation of students based on their results in JSC and SSC exams.
Syed Anwar Husain, eminent professor of History at Dhaka University, said the government's decision is not a wise one to evaluate the HSC examinees.
The education ministry could hold exams on an abridged syllabus – which would be a good approach due to an emergency period, he also said.
In 1972, too, students demanded an automatic promotion arguing that they could not take part in classes during the Liberation War. Even Dhaka University students raised the same demand. But the then-administration did not meet their demands, instead they shortened the syllabus and gave short exams, the professor added.
The education ministry has failed to make a long-term plan to recover the academic losses caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic this year. The government-declared one is also a sort of evaluation but not good at all, he stated.
Manzoor Ahmed, a professor emeritus of Brac University, said it was impossible to hold exams on a full-fledged scale during such an emergency period. But the declared evaluation process is not highly praiseworthy.
"It would have been wonderful had the ministry given a two-day short exam on basic subjects like Bangla, English and Science. The test results could be added to the JSC and SSC results for the student evaluation," he added.
The students, who expect to perform better than they did in previous exams, should be given opportunities. Otherwise, they will be deprived of getting good results and improving themselves in future studies, Manzoor said.
Fr Hemonto Pius Rozario, the principal of Notre Dame College in Dhaka, said the students, who did hard work for the last two years, will be the victims of the devaluation owing to the new decision.
"We have held three exams for our HSC candidates. We hold exams in a very strict way. So, the government could consider the college results along with the SSC results too."
But their opinion was not accepted by the government, Hemonto mentioned, adding, "If the education ministry feels the [present] situation, they can reconsider their decision."
However, Dr Shahan Ara Begum, the principal of Dhaka's Ideal School and College, said the government took the decision after doing a lot of research. So, it would not be good to comment on it.
"The examinees were waiting to sit for the exams. Now they are relieved and can prepare for the university admission tests," she said.
Meanwhile, public universities expressed that the HSC results, to be prepared in the announced method, hopefully will not create any problem for students' admission to universities.
Professor ASM Maksud Kamal, the pro vice chancellor (academic) of Dhaka University, said they would hold the upcoming admission tests like they did in previous years.
"New [HSC] results, to be given by the education ministry for HSC examinees in December, will not create any problem for holding university admission tests," he said.
"We will determine 80 marks on the SSC and HSC results of the candidates this year too," he said.
About the uniform admission test, he said, "Our academic council will decide on it."