English medium students
Before going into the main point of my letter, I'd like to thank the The Daily Star for providing exposure to the hard work we do. With us I mean the students who are studying under an international curriculum or the so-called 'English medium Students'. I think it's an excellent effort of the The Daily Star to encourage the students to do better by awarding the exceptional achievers with the 'The Daily Star' award. It stands out singly in recognizing the achievements of English medium students in this country.
We are deemed as brats of well off families who attend expensive private schools and go abroad for higher education and permanently settle there. We are unfairly blamed for brain drain. I won't go into the matter why our parents decided to give us an education that is valued worldwide and not the so-called Bangla medium education, this has long became a cliché.
First, let me make it clear that I am not that knowledgeable about the grading system of the Bangla medium education, correct me if I am wrong that any score above 60% is considered to be A whereas in our grading system 60% is considered C. You see there is an enormous amount of difference. This bit of information is important for my argument below.
After finishing our high schools we face the admission tests to get enrolled to the reputed public institutions in the country. Almost all the public institutions have the same admission system; there are 100 marks for your previous education and another 100 marks for a written test. And I should better inform you that the questions in the written test are based on the HSC syllabus. That means the long gruelling 12 years of education that we acquired is obsolete here. And to add to our woes BUET for example requires Three As in A level, anything otherwise you won't qualify for the admission test. So think an HSC student who has scored 60% marks will be considered as having A and for us A means score above 80%. I can justifiably ask whether we are getting a fair deal here. And some institutions have age limits. For example, at the armed forces medical college you don't qualify for admission if you're more than 20 years of age. I mean even in a highly developed country like America where the medical education is very much controlled and maybe restricted , they don't mind your age as long as you pass the medical admission test and it doesn't matter even if you don't have any science background either. And now let's talk about double standards, the armed forces medical college has an age limit of 22 years for foreign students whereas it is 20 for the citizens of this country.
The next problem is preparing for the written test. The first problem we face is studying in Bangla, it doesn't mean that we can't read and understand Bangla as well as an HSC passed student can do. The problem lies in understanding the jargons and the technical terms.
I'd like to request the authorities to arrange separate admission tests for English medium students based on our syllabus, and make a level field for all so that we can compete fairly. I'd really appreciate if the 'The Daily Star' arranged a round table discussion on these issues.