The government is set to start the process of giving students of classes 6 to 9 assignments from November 1 in the absence of annual examinations.
Assignments will be given to school and madrasa students every week to identify students’ learning shortcomings so that authorities can take remedial steps in those areas, said Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) officials.
“We are all set to start the process of giving and taking assignments from November 1,” DSHE Director General Prof Syed Md Golam Faruk said.
He said all teachers and officials concerned will be notified about the process.
“We will also upload the assignment process on our website before November 1,” he added, while talking to this newspaper yesterday.
The government is starting the process after Education Minister Dipu Moni on Wednesday announced that students of classes 6-9 would be promoted to the next classes this year without any annual examinations.
“There will be no annual exams for them. There will be no results, no grading …” she had said during a virtual press briefing. The decision was made to curb transmission risk amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she added.
According to the academic calendar, their annual exams were scheduled to be held between November 28 and December 10.
Before the announcement, students and guardians all over the country were confused about the process of promotion to higher classes as schools and madrasas have been shut for more than seven months due to the pandemic.
The government had already announced that the closure was extended until October 31.
Officials said the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) had already prepared a brief syllabus for students of classes 6-9 so they can achieve the minimum learning outcomes.
Students will be able to receive and submit assignments online or in person, following proper health guidelines. Students can also get assignments through TV classes and on educational websites.
DSHE Secondary Director Belal Hossain said they are working closely with NCTB on the assignments. Students would have to answer short questions, board questions and creative questions based on what they learned in a particular week.
“We will ensure that this assignment does not create any kind of pressure on students,” he said.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Dipu Moni said students who have been displaced due to the pandemic will be able to collect and submit assignments from nearby educational institutions.
She also said no one will be allowed to take any kind of tests during this assignment process.
Wednesday’s announcement elicited mixed reactions from parents and educationists.
Manzoor Ahmed, professor emeritus of Brac University and the founder-director of the university’s Institute of Educational Development, said the government should provide guidelines to teachers that would enable them to properly evaluate assignments and identify shortcomings.
“The government should introduce a guideline for them [teachers],” he said.
Golam Faruk said yesterday that they will also provide teachers guidelines regarding the process.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Education and Statistics (BANBEIS), there are about 1.05 crore students in classes 6-9 across the country — around 87.32 lakh studying in schools and the rest in madrasas.