Sunday, June 23, 2024

Students troubled as political crisis drags on

Students, especially of primary and secondary levels, and their guardians as passing their days in anxiety over disruption in academic activities before the year-final examinations because of the political crisis.
Schoolteachers feared that they may not be able to complete the syllabus in time although they are taking special or makeup classes at weekends because of the frequent general strikes.
Political programmes have so far messed up about a sixth of the academic calendar. Academic activities of at least 37 days have so far been hampered till Sunday because of countrywide general strikes. In Bangladesh, classes took place on 218 days a year.
Teachers also said that schools had faced unscheduled closures because of strikes. Almost all schools were closed for the whole of February because of SSC and equivalent exams.
Against this backdrop,
schools will now have a hard time to complete the syllabus in keeping with the academic calendar.
Examinees of the two largest public examinations are worst sufferers of the current spell of political crisis as exams are knocking on the door.
The Junior Secondary Certificate examinations will begin on November 4 and the Primary Completion Examinations on November 20.
More than 21 lakh students are expected to take the JSC examinations and 32 lakh students the Primary Completion Examinations.
Class X test examinations are scheduled to begin in the week of October and the annual examinations of Class VI–IX will be held from second week of November. Annual examinations of Class II–IV will be held at end of November and in the first week of December.
The opposition alliance threatened tougher programmes if its demand for a non-party, election-time government was not met.
The education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, urged all political parties not to plan any political programmes that could harm the academic life of children, ‘Such political activities are delaying examinations and putting pressure on examinees. Many of them may fail to achieve desired results,’ he added.
He said that violent political activities would hamper exams preparations of 3.5 crore students.
The education ministry was forced to shift examinations of the SSC and the HSC because of political programmes, he said, adding that such shifting had put pressure on examinees and many of them failed to achieve desired results.
Ziaul Kabir Dulu, president of a Dhaka-based guardians’ platform called Abhibhabak Oikya Forum, told New Age that they were worried about whether schools could complete the syllabus in time.
Many secondary schoolteachers feared that they might not be able to complete the syllabus although they started taking makeup classes at weekends.
Earlier in this year O level and A-Level exams were even held at midnight.
Almost all public universities are in trouble because of prolonged academic years. Admission tests for the next session in public universities are scheduled to take begin in the week of November.
If the enforcement of general strikes continues in this manner, universities, especially the National University, is likely to plunge into a severe crisis.
The BNP-led opposition alliance, Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam, some left parties, including the Communist Party of Bangladesh and the the Socialist Party of Bangladesh, and cultural organisation Sammilita Sangskritik Jote along with some cultural groups enforced countrywide general strikes for at least 36 days in 2013 till Saturday.
Strikes were enforced on January 6, 16 and 31, February 5, 6, 18, 24 and 28, March 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 18, 19, 27 and 28, April 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 23 and 24 and May 8, 9, 12 and 14, on June 11, July 4, 15, 17, 18 and September 18 and 19.
Apart from nationwide general strikes, a number of regional strike also halted normal academic activities of the region.
A teacher at Mirpur Bangla School told New Age, ‘We may not be able to complete the syllabus, especially when the curriculum is new. Many teachers are now skimming through chapters. It will take more time for them if they go for proper classroom teaching.’
The Viqrunnesa Noon School and College principal, Manju Ara, said that they faced problems in following the academic calendars.
She said that most of the classes and exams that had been postponed were rescheduled for weekends but students and teachers found it difficult to go to school at weekends.
HSC examinations of six days and SSC examinations of five days were rescheduled because of general strikes.

-With New Age input

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