Govt mulls to revise GPA system at public exams

Mushtaq Ahmed . Dhaka | Update:

Govt mulls to revise GPA system at public exams. File PhotoThe government is planning to amend the existing grading system in the JSC, SSC, HSC and other equivalent public examinations to make it consistent with that of the local and foreign universities, education board officials said.

As per the new recommendations, the education boards are working on, the results of the public examinations will be published with 4 being highest letter grade (GPA) instead of existing 5 (GPA).

The grades and marks distribution will also be changed once the new recommendations are implemented, they said.

Existing letter grade ‘A+’, for example, is given if one secures 80-100 marks in any subject. This grade will be split into two in the proposed system.

Right now, the education boards are working on three different alternatives of grading systems. The proposals will be sent to the ministry soon. The new methods of evaluation could be launched from next Junior School Certificate (JSC) examination.
“The results could be prepared in a scale of 4 and there’s no problem with that. But, it should be implemented from the beginning of a new session. Otherwise, it will create confusion,” Jessore education board’s former chairman professor Amirul Alam Khan told Prothom Alo.

Education boards’ authorities, however, said it will not affect the education. Only the results will be evaluated according to the new grading system.

Dhaka education board’s chairman professor Muhammad Ziaul Haque said these changes will be brought to adjust the evaluation system of public exams with the local and foreign universities.

The GPA system was first launched in the country in 2001 and highest GPA-5 was introduced in 2003. Currently, those who obtain marks between 80 and 100 are awarded letter grade ‘A+’.

Ziaul said the span of the marks is too large.

“For instance,” he went on to say, “if one secures 80 marks on average, s/he will be given ‘A+’ whereas those who obtain 99 per cent on average are also awarded the same letter grade.”

“On the other hand, those who get just 79 are deprived of the letter grade. That is why we have been working on three proposals to change the evaluation method,” he added.

Dhaka education board sources said according to one of the proposals, their
will be 13 grades instead of existing seven and those who will secure marks between 90 and 100 will be given ‘A(e)’ (Excellence).

Another proposal said that the highest grade will awarded to those who will obtain marks between 95 and 100. Another proposal said the letter grades will be determined dividing the obtained marks out of 100 with 25.

For example, if one gets 95 per cent marks, their GPA will be 95/25 = 3.8.

Change in pass number?

The discussion is going on to lift pass marks from 33 to 40. But, the boards’ authorities have not decided the matter as yet.

Dhaka board sources said the revealing the marks was stopped after introducing the GPA system.

Once a student appealed to the court to know marks he obtained. The court then ruled to publish marks of that student.

Following the court rule, the board authorities then started to publish marks along with the letter grade since 2016. But, the system does not suggest it.

That is why, he added, the marking system will be stopped in future.

*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam

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