Primary and ebtedayee terminal examinations for fifth graders of schools and madrasas will begin across the country on Sunday with more than 29 lakh examinees.
However, the number of examinees decreased by 254,598 this year. This is the fourth year in a row that the number of students has decreased.
“It does not mean that these students are dropping out,” said Primary and Mass Education Secretary Akram-Al-Hossain at a pre-examination briefing at the secretariat yesterday.
The number of students has been decreasing since 2015 and the reason is the decline in the country’s birth rate, he claimed.
This year, a total of 29,03,638 fifth graders have registered for the Primary Education Completion Examination (PECE), considered the largest public examination in the country.
Of them, 25.53 lakh students are from primary schools and around 3.50 lakh from madrasas.
“The examinations will be held at 7,470 centres across the country and twelve centres in eight foreign countries -- Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Libya, Greece and Qatar -- where there are Bangladeshi examinees,” said State Minister for Primary and Mass Education M Zakir Hossain. He said the number of girls is higher by 1.66 lakh than that of boys.
“It’s very encouraging that girls are coming forward in every sector,” he said.
“We have already made all-out preparations to hold the examinations in a free and fair manner,” Zakir added.
The minister said the ministry took special security measures to prepare and distribute question papers, which have already been sent to the upazila levels.
He said question papers were sent to the 184 remote centres under special arrangement.
This year, 33,583 students with special needs will also sit for the exams and they will get additional 30 minutes.
The examinees will take 600-mark examinations of six subjects in six days with English on the first day. Exams would start at 10:30am and end at 1pm every day.
The tests will end on November 24.