Students from six madrasas in the district's Kaliganj upazila – Bhullarhat Ashrafia Dakhil Madrasa, Dalgram Dakhil Madrasa, Monirabad Sufia Ekramia Alim Madrasa, Kashiram Ekramia Alim Madrasa, Tetulia Dakhil Madrasa and Sakhati Zabbario Dakhil Madrasa – were notified two days before their Bangladesh and Global Studies exam that, due to an error in their registration process, they would have to sit for Physical Education and Sports exam instead.
The subject code for Bangladesh and Global Studies is 143, whereas the subject code for Physical Education and Sports is 142, sources at Kaliganj Upazila Education Office told the Dhaka Tribune.
Sources at the madrasas said the candidates who studied Bangladesh and Global Studies filled out their registration forms correctly. But the people who were tasked with entering the information in the education office database entered the wrong code and registered around 200 candidates for Physical Education and Sports.
Although teachers found out the blunder, instead of taking the initiative to correct the mistake, they asked the candidates to prepare for the test that they had been erroneously signed up.
“All the students who were registered for the wrong subject were called to the madrasa on Tuesday where the teachers handed us Physical Education books and told us to study for the exam, which was today [Thursday],” said Fahim Hossain, a candidate from Monirabad Sufia Ekramia Alim Madrasa.
“We studied for Bangladesh and Global Studies for two years to prepare for this exam. Now they are telling us we cannot take the exam. This is have a huge impact on our results,” said Surma, another candidate from the same institution.
Speaking with the Dhaka Tribune, sources said that although many madrasas usually have computers and other technological facilities, the authorities often outsource the significant work of online registration of their students for board exams.
Giving such an important task to someone who may not have the necessary skills and sense of responsibility is a major reason behind this blunder, they added.
When contacted, Dr Golam Azam Moududi, principal of Monirabad Sufia Ekramia Alim Madrasa, admitted the grievous error and said the affected students had been supplied with the text book they were required to study for the test.
Abdul Mottalib, superintendent of Sakhati Zabbario Dakhil Madrasa, claimed the madrasa had given their candidates several lessons on the new subject to prepare them after discovering the error.
“The mistake happened because the task of online registration was outsourced,” he said.
Bhullarhat Ashrafia Dakhil Madrasa Superintendent Shahidul Islam blamed the Madrasa Education Board authorities for the error.
When contacted in this regard, Kaliganj Upazila Education Officer Afrosa Begum said the madrasa authorities were responsible for this mistake. “We will inform the higher authorities of this matter,” she said.