The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) admission test for the 2020-21 academic session of public and private medical colleges will be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sources said the date and process of the admission test will be finalised next week. But the health ministry is still undecided whether the marks on SSC and HSC results will be reduced. The ministry, however, is determined not to cut the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) marks.
Medical experts and health ministry sources said there is no scope to enrol the fresh students for medical education without any admission test.
The students enrolling in the country's medical colleges this year would provide Medicare to the people after four years. People will be deprived of proper treatment if the new students get admitted through a wrong process, they said.
AHM Enayet Hossain, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Business Standard that they will hold a meeting with the authorities concerned next week to fix the date for the test.
"We have an arrangement to take the exam maintaining health guidelines. So, there is no chance to enrol new students without any admission test," he said.
Asked whether MCQ marks would be deducted from the admission test, he said, "Although the Dhaka University authorities decided to deduct 40 marks from written and MCQ tests, we have no way to do it. We must give examinations with full MCQ marks."
Former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Professor Md Nazrul Islam said the medical admission test must be held even if the coronavirus situation intensifies.
"The newly admitted students are expected to take care of Covid-19 patients as part of their study. If they are afraid of being infected, how will they become a doctor? So, it will not be wise to enrol the new students without any admission test, for making the future doctors," he said.
"The students should concentrate in study and prove themselves in the admission test," he added.
Last year, the MBBS admission test was held across the country on October 1. Some 69,405 admission seekers took part in the test, against 10,404 seats.
Of them, 49,413 examinees passed the test. Among the students passed, 26,531 were males and 22,882 females.
There are 4,068 seats in 36 government medical colleges, and 6,339 seats in 70 private medical colleges in the country.
But this year, the number of admission seekers may increase more as there would be no HSC examinations this year and all the 13 lakh HSC examinees would get their certificates.
Their results will be determined based on their JSC and SSC results. The results will be published in December.
Admission seekers starts online coaching
Meanwhile, the MBBS admission seekers across the country have started enrolling in online admission coaching after the government declared that all HSC students will pass this year.
Rajib Ahmed, a seeker, said he got GPA-5 in both JSC and SSC exams. So, he will get the same result in HSC too. That is why he has got admitted into Unmesh coaching centre.
"My aim is to get admitted into government medical colleges. I will try my level best to achieve my goal," he said.
Coaching Association Bangladesh's joint convener Mahmudul Hasan Sohag said the government is yet to give permission to take in-person classes. That is why they enrolled the students for online courses.
Who is eligible for admission test?
All domestic and foreign admission seekers must have an aggregate GPA of at least 9.00 in SSC and HSC or equivalent exams to be eligible for the admission test.
Students having less than GPA-3.5 in any of the two public exams will not be eligible. Students having less than GP-3.5 in Biology in HSC and equivalent exams also will not be eligible.
Marks of the test
Total marks of MBBS admission test is 300.
The one hour written test will be held with MCQ questions for 100 marks, with 30 for Biology, 25 for Chemistry, 20 for Physics, 15 for English, six for History and Culture of Bangladesh and four for International affairs.
Among the rest 200 marks, 75 marks are on SSC results and 125 marks on HSC results.