No more GPA-5 in public exams

Md Solamain Salman

13 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The government on Wednesday took a decision in principle to bring changes to the grading system for all public exams in school and college level in the country.

The education ministry will replace GPA-5 by GPA-4 soon to introduce international grading system so that students of the country do not have to suffer during higher study abroad.

Besides, the government also took a decision to reduce the exam time in public examinations from next year to stop any malpractice.

The decisions were taken at a meeting which was held at the education ministry with education minister Dr Dipu Moni in chair on Wednesday.

The meeting was held between the inter-education board coordination sub-committee and Education ministry while all education boards chairman, boards secretaries, officials of Directorate of Secondary and higher education and ministry officials were present. 

Now the results of different universities are being given under Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) where highest Grade Point Average is 4 (80-100 marks) which is international standard.

But the country’s Primary Education Completion (PEC), Junior School Certificate (JSC), Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)—are publishing results with highest GPA-5 (80-100 marks).

Officials said the students have to face problems when they go abroad to achieve higher education as their public exams results published are based on the GPA-5 system where the highest grade point is GPA-4 in others countries.

The government is going to introduce international stranded GPA in public exams to reduce suffering of students and maintain international standard.

Meanwhile, the Board officials said the initiative to shorten public examination period will bring dynamism in the entire education and it was urgent to curtail unnecessary exam gaps to reduce mental pressure of examinees.

Actually, there is no need of too much gap between each paper during Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations as it does not ensure good results of examinees, they said

The officials also said public examinations were conducted within a short time in the 1980s and 1990s which eventually helped avert any unfair practices.

Boards officials said the authorities are working to reduce the duration of public examinations as per guidelines from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this matter.

Addressing a programme at Ganabhaban on July 18 last year, marking the handover and publication of HSC and its equivalent examination results, the Prime Minister directed to hold public examinations in a shorter time to avert too much of talk and rumours.

The premier said, ‘If the duration of examination can be shortened, various types of talks and rumours (regarding exams) will come down.”

Admitting the decision, Inter-education board president and Dhaka education board Chairman Prof Ziaul Haque said, “We took a decision to shorten duration of public exams and fix the highest GPA-4 instead of 5 at the meeting.”

He said, “We will try to take JSC and JDC exams within eight to ten days and SSC and HSC exams within 20 to 22 days and we will also discuss it further to reduce the duration of the public exam.”

The introduction of GPA-4 instead of GPA-5 in public exams will be finalized after research and discussion with the stakeholders, he said.

Prof Ziaul said the government was now focusing on improving the quality of education through introducing different modern and effective systems aiming to fulfil the target of Sustainable Development Goal-4 by 2030.

Praising the initiative of the government for holding public examinations within a shorter time, educationist Syed Manzoorul Islam said, ‘I fully agree over reducing public examination time because the gap between the exams is unnecessary.”

He said the introduction of highest GPA-4 in public exam instead of 5 will be intentional standard which is now being followed by the higher educational institutions.

The grading system of the country will be parallel with the foreign education system and it will be a time-befitting decision, he added.

Educationist Rasheda K Chowdhury said, “We recommended a shorter public examination time scheduled in different times. But the government did not follow our advice.”

Rasheda said, ‘A section of dishonest persons take advantage of the examination gap and resort to malpractices that affects the public examinations. Coaching business has rampantly expanded because of the lengthy time schedule of public examinations.

The directive to hold the public examination within shorter time periods will check question paper leakage, she said. ‘It will also help stop rumours which ultimately misguides the examinees. ‘

She also urged the guardians not to be worried about the initiatives to shorten the exam period. A longer period of exam put added mental pressure on examinees, she said, adding that students would be relaxed if the examination period is shortened.