SSC, HSC exams to be delayed in 2021 amid pandemic

Education Minister Dipu Moni has said it will not be possible to hold the SSC and HSC examination in time in 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage Bangladesh.

Students will be tested on the basis of a curtailed syllabus which they can complete through three months of classes, the minister said in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday.

"We have prepared a short syllabus for next year's SSC and HS candidates which can be completed in three months," she said.

"We want to have them attend classes for three months. As such, the SSC and HSC exams will be delayed by a month or two."

For several years, the SSC exams started on February 1 and the HSC tests on April 1. If these dates coincide with public holidays, the tests usually begin on the following day.

Dipu Moni said a decision on reopening educational institutions will be considered by taking into account the coronavirus situation in the country. Once schools reopen, SSC and HSC students will have to attend classes for six days a week, she added.

Students in other grade levels will only have to attend in-person classes for a day or two while their online lessons will continue.

HSC RESULTS TO FACTOR IN SSC SCORES

Meanwhile, the education minister has also announced that the students' performances in the SSC and equivalent exams will have a large bearing on this year's HSC results.

The SSC results will account for 75 percent of the final HSC grade, with the JSC and JDC scores making up the remaining 25 percent, she said.

The authorities will reveal further details on the assessment system for the HSC results later in the day.

The HSC and equivalent exams were slated to begin on Apr 1 but were eventually cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country. The government later decided that student's performances in JSC, JDC, SSC and equivalent exams will be weighted in the HSC results.

The government announced the closure of all schools and other educational institutions in the country on Mar 17 following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The shutdown period has since been extended on several occasions, most recently until Nov 14.

The rampant epidemic also resulted in the cancellation of the HSC and equivalent exams, originally slated for Apr 1.

The government has also scrapped PEC exams for the fifth graders, and JSC and JDC exams for the eighth graders along with the annual exams for students of Class VI to Class X.