Education is the backbone of a nation. It is also true for us as well as others. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the country’s educational scenario. As per official sources, around 40 million students across the country have been compelled to discontinue their educational pursuit due to continued closure of educational institutes for more than one year. Of them, around 2.3 million Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinees are the worst affected. They have become worried enough about their fate as they are yet to sit for their first-ever public exam which is usually held in the month of February. Because of the second wave of the pandemic, the Ministry of Education did not fix any date for holding exams this year.
Nobody knows when the coronavirus would vanish from the country paving ways for reopening of schools. But, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) authorities have informed about formulating a shortened syllabus for SSC and equivalent exams. According to them, the question papers would be prepared on the basis of the curtailed syllabus. Once the schools are reopened, classes would be taken for 60 working days. The exams would be held after 15 more days as the authorities have stated.Whatever be the education ministry’s plan, both the students and their guardians are in favour of exams, not for auto-pass what had happened last year. Auto-pass is a social stigma. So-called students who want certificates only might be in favour of auto-pass, but majority of genuine students who study seriously dislike the bizarre system. Considering the expectations of majority of SSC examinees, we hope and believe that this time the government would not go for an easy solution by declaring auto-pass for all examinees.
If education is affected, the quality of human development index (HDI) is affected. We must never forget that a country’s development is assessed by its HDI, not merely by its economic growth. So, at any cost, we want holding of exams, not auto-pass.