Bangladesh plans to hold SSC exams in Nov, HSC in Dec

Minister of Education Dipu Moni has announced that the Secondary School Certificate, or SSC, examinations will be held in November and the Higher Secondary Certificate, or HSC, examinations in December if the pandemic situation improves across the country.

The examinations will be held following health protocols and with a reduced syllabus, the education minister said. The tentative dates are the second week of November for the SSC exams and the first week of December for the HSC exams.

The minister discussed the government’s plans for the examinations in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, amid mounting concern from students and guardians.

Dipu Moni said forms for the exams would be available after Eid-ul-Azha.

“Our vaccination campaign is ongoing,” the minister said, when asked about the decision to hold the exams. “In addition, the country saw a dip in infections around November and December of last year. Based on that, we hope the number of cases will fall again around that time this year.”

In light of the reduced syllabus, the SSC will have 24 assignments and the HSC 30, she added.

If the pandemic situation isn’t favourable, the ministry will consider combining the results of subject mapping for required subjects (by considering the results of previous public examinations) and the results of the assignments. 

Educational institutions have been closed since March of 2020 due to the pandemic. The government had announced a schedule for reopening earlier this year when the number of COVID-19 cases dropped, but a second wave of infections forced authorities to scrap the plan.

It is not clear when the situation will improve. Bangladesh is currently experiencing its worst period of the pandemic, posting more than 1,000 deaths in just five days.

On Wednesday the government reported 210 new COVID deaths in the daily count, taking the toll to 17,052. The caseload surged by 12,383 to 1,059,538.

The government usually holds the SSC exams in February and the HSC tests in April.

Last year the SSC tests were completed before the pandemic, but the HSC exams were postponed.

As schools stayed remained shut, students were promoted automatically without exams after online classes.

The HSC results were published by averaging the grades in JSC and SSC.

Officials insist that automatic pass will not be an option this year for SSC and HSC candidates.