Although Education Minister Dipu Moni last week said she would announce the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exam plans by Monday or Tuesday, the ministry is still working on it.
"The education ministry is yet to fix the date for a press conference to announce the HSC exam schedule," Abul Khair, public relations officer of the ministry, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, sources at the ministry said its officials were working to hold HSC exams from mid-November.
The ministry is weighing two options now. One is to cut the marks by 50% in each subject and the other is to drop the MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions).
But, exams will be held on all subjects.
Experts expressed doubt about the planned exam schedule as there is a chance of a second wave of Covid-19 hitting the country at that time.
An education ministry official told The Business Standard that the ministry's top officials would meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soon to talk about the HSC exam dates. Based on her decision, they will give directives to the education boards.
According to the ministry's plan, only one student will be seated on each bench and each candidate will have to follow the health guidelines.
They will have to wash their hands before entering the centre and students showing high temperature will not be allowed to sit for the exam.
The education boards have 2,500 centres across the country. Although they will need at least 5,000 centres if one student sits on each bench, the boards also have that preparation.
Dhaka Education Board Chairman Professor Ziaul Haque told The Business Standard that they have all the preparations to hold HSC exams. "We are ready but need the ministry's plan and instruction to start the exams."
The education minister on 30 September said students would be promoted if the authorities failed to hold the exams. And HSC results could be prepared based on the examinees' JSC and SSC results.
On 24 September, the education boards' chairmen claimed that they were prepared to hold the HSC and equivalent exams while maintaining health guidelines and needed 15 days to make arrangements.
Also, the boards' sources said question papers of most of the boards had been sent to the local administrations in March and the rest on last week.
About 13 lakh students were expected to sit for the exams that were scheduled to start from 1 April.
The exams were meant to be held at over 9,000 educational institutions under 11 education boards – nine general, one madrasa and one technical education board.
On 16 March, the education ministry issued a statement announcing the government's decision to keep all educational institutions and coaching centres shut for March 18-31, taking into consideration the students' safety amid the pandemic.
Classes have remained suspended since then, although the administrative activities of the institutions resumed gradually.
However, the ministry extended the closure on several occasions – first till 9 April, then 25 April, 5 May, 30 May, 6 August, 31 August and finally until 30 October.