Like every year GPA-5 achievers in HSC and equivalent exams have outshone many of their peers with the best success, but this time they have outnumbered seats available in both public and private universities too.
Around 1.90 lakh students have obtained GPA-5 in HSC and equivalent examinations, while the number of seats in all universities – except the National University – is around 1.2 lakh, meaning that a good number of students even with GPA-5 will miss out on university admissions.
The number of GPA-5 holders is the highest in the country's history as students' assessments were done on only three elective subjects. The compulsory subjects were evaluated based on their performance in previous public exams – the SSC and JSC.
Over 95% or 13,06,718 students passed the HSC and its equivalent examinations. Of them, at least 8 lakh students have their required marks to take part in the university admission tests, considering their SSC and HSC results.
Such a high success rate will put a serious burden on public, private and vocational higher education institutions across the country.
In this situation, educationists put emphasis on written examinations in admitting new students under the 2021-2022 academic session. Otherwise, they say it will be tough to identify talents for the universities as the HSC results do not reflect proper evaluations.
Professor Siddiqur Rahman, former director of the Institute of Education and Research at the University of Dhaka, told The Business Standard that it is indeed that the students passed the exams with inadequate knowledge as they learnt a little from the whole syllabus. It will be a burden on the country if all the students try to get into higher educational institutions.
'Students should go for technical studies'
Students should go for vocational studies, diplomas and other forms of professional training to become entrepreneurs. They must face complexities in the future if they go for traditional learning, he said, adding that they should prepare themselves for the fourth industrial revolution. Otherwise, they will be a burden for the nation in future.
In the meantime, the higher educational institutions are already unable to provide quality education to all 13 lakh students as they do not have adequate manpower. Their teacher-student ratio is still high, and it will increase if all the study places are filled.
The ratio is 1:19 at public universities, 1:22 at private universities and 1:30 at institutions under the National University.
Professor Emeritus of Brac University Dr Manzoor Ahmed told TBS that it is a partial evaluation and will be tough to identify real talents for the universities. Now, the higher educational institutions, especially the reputed ones, should put more emphasis on admission tests and viva voce to enroll new students.
About quality higher education, Dr Manzoor said the teacher-student ratio should be 1:15 for higher educational institutions, and ensuring quality education will not be possible if the ratio goes higher than that.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the results on Sunday through videoconferencing from Ganabhaban.
Earlier on the day, Education Minister Dipu Moni received the results from chairmen of different education boards on behalf of the premier at the International Mother Language Institute in the capital.
Girls outdo boys
The country's girls have proven their excellence in the latest HSC and equivalent exams, outshining boys in terms of pass rate.
Some 12,71,681 students – 7,15,516 male and 6,56,165 female – appeared for the exams in 2021 from 9,183 institutions across the country under 11 education boards. A total of 6,56,165 girls sat for the HSC exams this year, and 6,33,138 of them attained pass marks with a success rate of 96.49%.
On the contrary, 6,73,580 boys out of 7,15,516 succeeded with a pass rate of 94.14%.
A total of 1,934 educational institutions out of 9,111 achieved 100% pass rate in the results across the country.
Jashore Board has secured the top position among 11 education boards and Chattogram Board on the bottom.
All the 12 cadet colleges have scored 100% pass rate, with all the cadets achieving GPA-5, said the Inter-Services Public Relations.
Dipu Moni said the students who have passed the HSC exams should go for technical education instead of traditional learning, considering the fourth industrial revolution that is on the horizon.
The government has designed a new national curriculum to make learning enjoyable for students by lessening exam burdens, she said.
"In the new curriculum, students will be able to learn through self-practicing, experimentation, community engagement and group working in classes in an enjoyable environment. We are working on making our students compatible with the new demand for knowledge in the future world. We want to create an opportunity for all so they can learn with enjoyment," she added.
The exams, which were delayed for eight months amid the pandemic, began on 2 December last year and ended on 30 December.
HSC candidates were not tested on 12 subjects this time. The assessments consisted of six papers from the shortened syllabuses of three elective subjects.
Students got one and a half hours to finish the exams instead of the usual three. Compulsory subjects, such as Bangla and English, have been assessed based on students' performance in previous public exams.
The year 2020's exams were scheduled to be held from 1 April, but the government later decided not to hold the tests due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The authorities provided the results on the basis of students' JSC and SSC scores instead.