Colleges in a fix over promoting 11th graders
Colleges following the national curriculum are divided over promoting 11th-grade students to the next grade, as debates on possibility of a learning gap are ongoing, amid closure of educational institutes.
Some college authorities started promoting their students without holding final exams, while others are thinking about holding exams online to facilitate promotion.
Many teachers say promoting students without proper assessment will create a learning gap. The other side, however, differed with them, saying the syllabus was already completed, no such issues should occur.
Rajuk Uttara Model College Principal Brigadier General Kazi Showkat Alam said they have decided to promote students based on their mid-term and class-test performances.
"We could not take final exams due to the pandemic," he said. "There is no question of learning gap, as we have completed the syllabus before school closure."
Notre Dame College authorities, in a notice published on Thursday, announced that all 11th-grade students have been promoted. A teacher there said they have promoted the students based on scores of their previous exams.
He referred to the college's principal, Father Hemanto Pius Rozario, to get an official response, but the principal's phone was found switched off after repeatedly trying to reach him yesterday.
Dhaka College Principal Prof Nehal Ahmed, said they had started 11th-grade final exams before closure.
"Now, we are looking for ways for complete the assessment. We have kept online education as an option. After everything is settled, we will promote the students," he said.
"In our country, students study the most just before and during exams. If you do not hold final exams and just promote them, there is chance of a learning gap," he said.
Dhaka Residential Model College Principal Brigadier General Kazi Shameem Farhad said they will arrange an evaluation test for promotion purposes.
"We will decide after considering results of earlier tests and the upcoming evaluation. Students lose interest in studying if you just promote them without exams. As a result, there can be a learning gap," he said.
Viqarunnisa Noon School and College Principal Prof Fougia said they will decide after discussing the matter at a governing body meeting next week.
Ideal School and College, Motijheel, Principal Shahan Ara Begum said they have already completed 11th-grade final exams before closure.
Dhaka Education Board Chairperson Prof Ziaul Haque said as final exams are internal assessments, college authorities can decide the best course of action.
"We're aware that some colleges are promoting students based on past assessment. All colleges can do that," he said.
"The 11th-grade syllabus is usually completed by March, so there would be no learning gap. The problem can arise for 12th-grade, however, so we will look into the matter," he added.
All educational institutions have remained closed since March 17. The closure was extended till August 6.
On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said all educational institutions may stay closed till September, if the situation does not improve.
Educational activities of about four crore students have been disrupted due to the crisis. Higher Secondary Certificate exam has been deferred for an indefinite period. First-term exams of primary schools and half-yearly exams of secondary schools have also been deferred.