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Dhaka Tribune

No option left for school authorities

Update : 30 Nov 2013, 09:50 AM

The series of anti-government movements by the opposition are taking a heavy toll on academic activities and examinations, with repeated shutdowns and blockades placing school authorities in a dilemma.

Head teachers are expressing concerns about how to finish their academic session by December 7, an obligation that every school has to meet.

“This is an awkward situation for all of us,” said Abu Sayeed Bhuiyan, head of Government Laboratory High School.

He said they found no other way but to conduct examinations during the last blockade programmes, but now the fear of insecurity has seized students and guardians.

“One of our students narrowly escaped a crude bomb attack the other day when coming to take test in the school while some guardians also got away from blast targeting vehicles they were riding during the blockades,” said the headmaster.

He said: “It seems that no option is left for us. We cannot conduct exams in hartals and blockades for security reasons, but we have to finish exams by December 7.”

Like Abu Sayeed, most school headmasters are struggling to complete their annual examinations because of political violence.

Most city schools remained open on Friday even though it was a weekend. From the morning, guardians were seen taking their kids to schools like a regular school day.

Zubayer Ahmed was seen in Dhanmondi 32 area taking his son to Mastermind school. He said: “Nowadays, the weekends have turned very busy for us as schools remain open.

A parent, Nasreen Sultana, told the Dhaka Tribune she did not send her son to take exams during the blockade fearing insecurity and now her son was facing problems to retake the examinations in the Government Laboratory School.

Most Bangla-medium schools remained open on Friday for holding make-up classes.

Manju Ara Begum, principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, said their college students took two examinations on Friday as exams could not be held over the last couple of days because of blockade.

“We are yet to start school annual exams as my school is a centre for Primary School Certificate exams. I don’t know how I will complete exams,” She said.

The primary school certificate examinees took their rescheduled science examination on Friday.

163,009 of them were absent on the day of science examination.

Directorate of Primary Education officials blamed volatile politics for the absence of students.

Director General Shyamal Kanti Ghosh of DPE also attributed the striking absence to the ongoing political violence.

In Chittagong, school and college authorities arranged annual examinations on the weekend on Friday.

Primary School Certificate exams were also held on Friday in different centres peacefully.

Anwara Begum, principal of Bangladesh Women Association Girls’ High School and College, told the Dhaka Tribune both students and teachers faced problem to sit and hold tests respectively beyond the academic calendar.

Sultana Khanum, a mother of 12-year-old Nawrin, who sat the PSC exam in Bangladesh Navy School and College, said her daughter faced difficulties in paying attention to her study because of uncertainty caused by the change to exam schedules.

Prof Iftekhar Uddin Chowdury, pro-vice-chancellor of Chittagong University, said the leaders had no right to play down the importance of the students’ career.

“Earlier O level examinations were suspended by the British Council and now the PSC, JSC and annual exams are being hindered because of the hartals and blockades which are no longer expected,” he added.  

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