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Dhaka Tribune

Deserving students losing seats to quotas

Update : 30 May 2014, 08:11 PM

Due to the HSC admission policy that all colleges are required to follow, many students fail to get admission in the renowned colleges, even with good grades in their SSC examinations, whereas some students get the opportunity despite having lower scores.

According to the policy, 10% of the seats in the colleges in metropolitan areas are reserved for particular students – 3% are reserved for rural students, 5% for children of freedom fighters and 2% for children of staff and officials working at the Education Ministry.

Many students and their guardians complained that due to these quotas – particularly the quota for children of Education Ministry officials and staff – many deserving students cannot get places in the good colleges, while many less-qualified students do.

They also said gaining admission in a good college is difficult to begin with, as the competition there is the toughest, but if a good number of those seats are already filled up by quotas, it only gets more difficult for the students.

This year’s HSC admission process began on Wednesday. Students can apply through SMS or online until June 12. The list of selected candidates will be published on June 22. The last date for paying the application fees is June 30 and classes are due to start on July 1.

Abdul Quayum, the parent of a student who wants to enrol in Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, told the Dhaka Tribune that despite having the highest GPA in her SSC examination, his daughter might not be able to get admission in the college due to the quota system.

Ahmed Ismail, a student with GPA 5 in SSC, wants to enrol into Dhaka College, but said the quota system is depriving deserving candidates like him.

“At least the quota for the children of the Education Ministry staff should be abolished,” he said.

A number of college principals told the Dhaka Tribune that due to the quota system, students with comparatively poor results are able to get admission, depriving students with good results.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics, there are 3,547 colleges in the country, but the number of colleges that provide quality education is relatively low.

Fahima Khatun, director-general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, told the Dhaka Tribune that 2% is not a big number and she believes that this is not depriving other students.

“Only 2% is reserved for the children of the Education Ministry officials and staff. I do not think it is a big issue,” she said.

She said that even under the quota system, students can apply only when they meet the minimum requirements.

“I do not think this is affecting the merit-based system,” she added.

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