HSC Exam in 17 Months, Students Call it Discriminatory

For the past few months, students have been protesting, organizing human chains, and even fasting to delay the HSC, Madrasa, and technical exams. Yesterday (June 25), they submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Despite these efforts, the Ministry of Education and the examination boards have remained firm on starting the exams as scheduled. Students are demanding at least a two-month postponement.

Students argue that while the HSC education system is supposed to last two years, the 2024 HSC exams are being scheduled after just 17 months. Various protests across the country have highlighted the discrepancy in preparation time between different batches and the incomplete syllabus for the second year.

The HSC-24 batch began classes in February 2023, giving them only one year of class time. In contrast, the 2022 and 2023 batches had 24 and 18 months respectively to prepare. The 2024 batch also faced interruptions due to extreme heat, load shedding, and cyclones, further reducing their preparation time. Students view this as a clear case of discrimination.

Naimul Islam, a student from the Dhaka Board, told The Daily Campus, “We have had only 16 to 17 months to prepare. With such a large syllabus, this short preparation time is insufficient. Various holidays and adverse conditions have further disrupted our studies. If the exams are not postponed, our results will be affected, impacting our future.”

However, the education boards argue that they have already shortened the syllabus to account for the reduced preparation time, making a further delay unnecessary. They have also emphasized that the exam schedule has been announced well in advance, with exams starting on June 30.

Mahfuz Shanto, a student from the Dinajpur Education Board, countered this claim, stating that the shortened syllabus is still essentially a full syllabus. “Even with the shortened syllabus, we had to prepare just as thoroughly. The so-called short syllabus still required us to study every chapter in detail,” he explained.

For this year’s HSC exams, approximately 30% of the syllabus has been reduced. For example, in ICT, one out of six chapters has been excluded; in Physics 1st Paper, two out of ten chapters have been excluded; and in Chemistry, one out of five chapters has been excluded.

When asked about the possibility of postponing the exams, Professor Tapan Kumar Sarkar, President of the Inter-Education Board Coordination Committee, told The Daily Campus, “Exams in Sylhet division will start from July 9, while the rest of the country will start from June 30. We have already completed all preparations for the exams to start on June 30. The students’ demand has no valid basis.”

The exams in Sylhet were postponed until July 8 due to the flood situation. However, students from Sylhet fear that this delay will put them at a disadvantage in university admissions compared to other regions.

Amit Mohan Roy, a student from Sylhet, said, “Even though our house wasn’t flooded, there is still knee-deep water in front of it. The floodwaters are receding very slowly. I was well-prepared for the exams, but now we will finish later than others and start preparing for university admissions later. We request that if a two-month delay isn’t possible, at least ensure that all boards start and finish the exams at the same time.”

JR Nayan

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