However, these two examinations could not be held in 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. This gave hopes to the students that they would be relieved of extra stress of the examination. It is unfortunate that the decision regarding the PEC examination has not yet been taken even in October.
The government’s only argument in favour of PEC and JSC is that it has restored the confidence of students. Even if it is true, the decision demands reconsideration. There are different ways to boost the confidence of students.
There is no evidence that additional exams enhance the quality of education, rather, the coaching centre and guide book business has boomed. Ahead of any exam, the students prefer coaching centres and private tutors instead of classrooms. Extra examinations do not mean extra knowledge; rather it promotes memorising answers.
To get out of this stereotype of education, the government has made a new curriculum where there is no mention of any public examination before the tenth grade. If the government does not disregard the announced curriculum, then PEC and JSC exams should not be continued by any means.
The new education policy announced by the government in 2010 set the level of primary education from first to eighth grade. It was the same in the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission created in 1974 as well. However, instead of following that, the policymakers forcibly imposed the JSC and PEC examinations on the students.
Educationist and economist Mohammad Farasuddin demanded the permanent cancellation of JSC and PEC examinations in a virtual discussion organised by the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO in the capital on International Education Day.
Manzur Ahmed, an emeritus professor at BRAC University, also said that the decision to cancel the PEC examination did not work. On the other hand, the primary and mass education ministry is still awaiting a decision from the top level on the PEC examination.
Not only the new curriculum, for the sake of education as a whole it is necessary to reduce the pressure of examinations on the children and the students, because these exams do not come to any good for the students. It only boosts the coaching centre and guide book business. Like JSC, the PEC examination should be cancelled too.