University admission tests have become uncertain due to the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the country, with public universities planning to reschedule exams as they do not want to take any health risk.
Bangladesh BiswabidyalayParishadwill hold a meeting with the chairman and members of the University Grants Commission on 5 May to decide the rescheduling of the uniform admission test.
Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology and also a member of Bangladesh BiswabidyalayParishad, told The Business Standard they had already extended the application deadlines in the face of the resurgence of coronavirus.
"We must change the uniform admission test date as the second wave of Covid-19 has hampered our preparations. We will decide at the next meeting," he said.
The University of Dhaka has already rescheduled its admission tests. The tests scheduled to begin from 21 May have been rescheduled for 31 July and onwards.
According to the new schedules, the Ka unit admission test will be held on 6 August, Kha on 7 August, Ga on 13 August, Gha on 14 August, and Cha on 31 July.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) has extended the application deadline from 24 April to 3 May.
Buet sources said prospective students would be required to attend preliminary selection exams to be held on 31 May and 1 June.Based on the results of those exams, candidates would be selected for the final tests scheduled for 10 June.
Professor Mizanur Rahman, director of the Directorate of Students' Welfare at Buet, told The Business Standard they would observe the situation and decide after Eid.
"It will not be possible to hold the exams on schedule if the Covid-19 situation continues to worsen," he said.
There are 46 public universities in the country. Of them, 40 will admit new students in bachelor's courses in the 2020-21 session.30 public universities will hold admission tests in three clusters – 20 general, seven agricultural, and three engineering.
The remaining 10 universities – the University of Dhaka, the University of Rajshahi, the University of Chattogram, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Bangladesh University of Textiles, Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology, and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University – will hold entrance tests separately.
The universities earlier decided to hold the uniform admission test of 30 public universities on the respective campuses to avoid any kind of irregularities and indiscipline during the test. No university will be allowed to use any room outside the campus to hold the test.
The university admission process usually starts in September and continues till November after Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) results are published while classes start in January.
But HSC exams were postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 last year. The examinees were evaluated based on their Junior School Certificate and Secondary School Certificate results.
A total of 13.67 lakh students passed the HSC tests, with 1.61 lakh receiving GPA 5.