Primary school students might be promoted without having to sit for class final tests, top officials of primary and mass education ministry hinted yesterday.
“There will be no examinations if schools cannot be reopened this year,” Primary and Mass Education Senior Secretary Akram-Al-Hossain said while addressing a press conference at the secretariat, marking the International Literacy Day tomorrow.
He, however, said if the schools could resume activities in October or November, they would consider an evaluation of the students for their promotion to new classes.
Akram was replying to queries from reporters whether the government would promote students without any exams as all schools are closed due to the pandemic.
On August 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “As the final exams are approaching, we are looking for ways to do what we can. There will be no exams … we are thinking about what more we can do. Maybe we can promote without an exam.”
All educational institutions have been closed since March 17 due to the pandemic. These will remain closed at least until October 3.
Since all schools and other educational institutions have been closed, academic activities of about two crore students of primary, secondary, and tertiary levels are being hampered.
The government cancelled this year’s Junior School Certificate (JSC) and its equivalent Junior Dakhil Certificate exams as well as Primary Education Completion (PEC) and its equivalent Ebtedayee Education Completion exams due to the pandemic and the closure of schools.
Instead of public exams, students will have to appear in final exams at their schools.
The PEC and its equivalent exams for the fifth graders and JSC and its equivalent exams for the eighth graders were slated for November. These are the two largest public exams.
Besides, first-and second-term exams at primary schools and half-yearly tests at secondary schools have been postponed.
Holding of this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate and its equivalent exams has been deferred for an indefinite period from April 1.
At yesterday’s press conference, Secretary Akram said before reopening of schools, every institution would have to make a plan on how they would conduct their regular activities.
He said many kindergartens could be forced to close due to fund crisis. “So, we have already asked all concerned that students [of closed kindergartens] can be enrolled at government primary schools situated in the catchment area,” he said.
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossain told the conference that the country’s literacy rate is now 74.7 percent.
Last year, the rate was 73.90 percent.
The literacy rate increased due to the government’s persistent initiatives, said Zakir, adding that the rate was 53.50 percent in 2005 during the BNP-Jamaat-led four party alliance government.
The country will observe the International Literacy Day tomorrow. This year’s International Literacy Day focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the Covid-19 crisis and beyond,” he added.
The day is being celebrated across the world since 1967 with a view to raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy.