A total of 12,937 students were absent on the first day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examinations on Monday.
The number of absentees was 1,825 in Dhaka Board, 653 in Rajshahi, 499 in Cumilla, 536 in Jashore, 400 in Chattogram, 358 in Sylhet, 354 in Barishal, 470 in Dinajpur, 352 in Mymensingh, 4,806 in Madrasa Board, and 2,684 in Technical Board.
The exams commenced at 10:00 am and ended at 1:00 pm on Monday at 3,512 test centres all over the country.
This year, a total of 20,47,779 students from 28,884 institutions have registered for the examinations.
On the first day, students under the general education boards sat for the Bangla first paper test while Dakhil candidates under the madrasa board took tests for Quran Majid and Tazbid. Vocational board students appeared for the Bangla second paper.
According to the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka, the number of absentees at examinations has been increasing every year. A total of 10,387 candidates were absent from the exams on the first day in 2019, while in 2018, 2017 and 2016 the numbers were respectively 9,742, 8,520 and 6,828.
The chairman of the Dhaka Intermediate and Secondary Education Board, Professor Muhammad Ziaul Haque, told The Business Standard that transparency in the SSC examinations has been increasing day by day. As a result, those who know they will not pass stay away from taking the exams.
He, however, said some of the examinees could not sit for the exam on the first day of this year's SSC and equivalent exams due to illness or some other socio-economic problems.
But the number is not worrying, he claimed.
Earlier in the morning, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, along with Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, visited the Tejgaon Government Girls School centre in the capital.
The minister thanked the guardians and teachers for ensuring a good atmosphere in and around the examination centres.
She also assured guardians that the ministry has taken all-out measures to check question leaks and to hold the examinations properly.