- Total students from pre-primary to university level: 4.5 crore
- 1.6 crore students in secondary and higher secondary levels will get unique IDs first
- The students will use their unique IDs for all academic purposes
- The unique ID will be converted into NID cards once a student turns 18
- All kinds of information about students – whether they dropped out or not, did they get a job, etc – will be stored in the unique ID
The government is going to provide "unique IDs" for all of some 4.5 crore students from pre-primary to university level in the country.
The students will use their unique IDs for all academic purposes – including taking books from a library, getting results, registering for exams, and receiving scholarships. The unique IDs of the students will be converted into their national identity (NID) cards once they turn 18 years of age.
Professor Syed Golam Faruk, director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, told The Business Standard that the education ministry will start providing unique IDs to students from January next and all the students will be given their IDs in phases.
"The unique IDs will reduce unhealthy competition among students as they as well as their guardians always remain busy to secure a good position in class rolls instead of taking steps for proper learning.
"The unique ID initiative will help to ensure quality education while students will be able to use it for obtaining other facilities as well," he said.
Sources at the University Grants Commission (UGC) said unique IDs are expected to play an important role in checking certificate business by universities and bringing academic activities under strict discipline.
The Ministry of Education has already asked the authorities concerned to collect student data so that they can start providing the unique IDs within the stipulated time.
Meanwhile, private universities have started working to make a list of students on the basis of their subjects.
There are about 4.5 crore students from pre-primary to the university level in the country. Of them, 1.6 crore students are in the secondary to higher secondary levels and they will get their unique IDs first.
Officials at the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (Banbeis) said they have launched a project styled "Integrated Educational Information Management System (IEIMS)" and are collecting information from students across the country.
It has instructed the parents to provide 15 types of information including the birth registration of each student.
Shamsul Alam, project director (secondary) of the IEIMS, said they are now collecting the information and will go for data entry from 30 November this year.
"We will try to provide some unique ID to the students in December this year on the occasion of the Mujib Year. But we will go for full distribution from January next year."
The unique ID initiative will help to find out dropouts, child labour and early marriages, he said.
Dr Manzoor Ahmed, Professor Emeritus of Brac University, hailed the initiative to provide the unique IDS to students. He termed it as "an exemplary decision in tracking students" over all academic and other activities.
"It will be good that students now will not go for unhealthy competition to be first or secure good positions in their respective classes. They will now concentrate on getting good marks and become good students," he said.
Private universities collecting data
The UGC has prepared a guideline to create unique IDs for all students and it has been sent to all universities asking them to collect student data.
The UGC will arrange a workshop in the presence of at least two representatives from each private university to explain the guideline and implement it properly.
UGC Director Omar Farooq (private university division) told TBS that they have sent a letter to all university authorities to file student data so that they can create the unique ID Without any hassle.
"Many universities violate UGC directives while many are involved in other anomalies. The unique ID will help to compel all the universities to follow the rules properly as they will not be able to enroll the students at will," he said.
Public universities lagging behind
Even though the public universities in the country have not got any instruction from the UGC to collect student data, they all are aware of the Unique ID programme.
Asked, officials of various public universities, however, told TBS that the public universities will not take that much time to complete the process once they get instructions from the UGC.
Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Shahjalal University of Engineering and Technology, told TBS that they are now busy with admission tests. But they have a plan to complete the data collection process within a short time.