CAUGHT IN THE COLLEGE CONUNDRUM | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 10, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 10, 2015

CAUGHT IN THE COLLEGE CONUNDRUM

Due to lack of a proper ground work, the government online college admission system has become a nightmare for more than a million students.

Azman Rahman passed his Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination this year with 80 percent marks in all subjects. Instead of being overjoyed with his astounding academic performance, which is popularly known as the golden A+, Azman and his parents are passing days with great anxiety. Unfortunately, despite his outstanding performance, Azman's college admission has become uncertain even after months of result publication.

“I completed my SSC from Motijheel Ideal School. I applied to Notre Dame which is considered one of the best colleges in Dhaka and I am eligible for it,” says Azman. “However, the government's online application system selected me to be enrolled at Pallabi College which is miles away from my home. It is not possible for me to study there from my home in Motijheel,” adds a disappointed Azman.

This is just an example of thousands of bizarre steps taken by the Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Dhaka, in the name of online college admission process for the recent SSC graduates. Without any prior experiment and adequate preparation, the government decided to implement this admission system for 11,56,000 SSC graduates. Under this massive project, the government published a merit list of all SSC students and the list of colleges where these students are to be enrolled. They made this list according to result and choice of the students submitted through online portal and Teletalk SMS service. 

However, 62,000 students were missing from the merit list and hundreds of thousands of students were enrolled in to colleges which have not even started their academic activities yet. For example, at least 52 students have been selected to be enrolled at UU Laboratory College, an institution in Uttara which never initiated its academic activity since its approval from the authority six years ago.

Again, more than 200 students from the commerce stream have been selected to be enrolled at the Government Science College which is well known for science education. Habibur Rahman, the principal of the college says, “For the last two or three years we have no specific teachers for the commerce faculty as students from commerce group do not take admission here. “

However, the situation for Rubab Islam a student of Adamjee Cantonment School and College and his thirteen friends is rather different. He says, “As our school also has a college / high school section, all of us decided to enrol here. However, our names have been registered at Zarina Sikder Girls' High School and College, which is actually a woman only institution. This is so embarrassing and on top of that our parents are very worried!” adds an unhappy Rubab.

The situation is even worse for the 62,000 students who went missing from the merit list published by the government. Their worried parents gather before the board office and college offices every day only to return with no solution.

On July 5, 2015 Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid apologised for this severe crisis. The deadline for submitting applications for students has also been extended up to three weeks. However, this scenario shows how reckless our policy makers are in managing such an issue of mass importance. It has not only gridlocked academic activities of thousands of institutions all over the country but it has also thrown the fate of our students into a total uncertainty. 

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