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GPA holders fail to shine

Coaching business threatens quality education

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Over 90 percent applicants, looking for admission to Dhaka University this year with excellent results both in SSC and HSC examinations, have failed to obtain even the pass mark in its 'Kha' unit, exposing the awful picture of the country's education quality.
Experts said the poor performance of students in the admission tests of the country's premier educational institution after a huge pass rate of 78.33 percent with more than 70,000 GPA-5 achievers in the HSC examination this year indicates that quality education still remains a far cry.
Only 9.55 percent participants had been able to attain the pass mark in the recently-held 'Kha' unit test for admission to first year honours under the 2014-15 academic session of the university.   The admission process of Dhaka University has been categorised into five units-'Ka', 'Kha, 'Ga', 'Gha' and 'Cha'. The 'Ka' unit is for Science Faculty, while 'Kha' for Arts Faculty, 'Ga' for Commerce Faculty, while 'Gha' is a combined unit and 'Cha' for Fine Arts. The pass rate in 'Ka' and 'Ga' units' admission tests of the university is also not satisfactory as 21.5 percent participants got the pass mark in 'Ka' unit and 20.61 percent in 'Ga' unit. A total of 40,565 applicants who came from Humanities Group with minimum aggregated GPA of SSC and HSC 7 without grade point of fourth subjects, took part in the 'Kha' unit admission test held on September 19, but only 3,874 got the pass mark against 2221 seats.
In the 'Ka' unit admission test held on September 12, only 16,840 applicants out of 78,293, who came from science group with minimum aggregated GPA 8 in SSC and HSC without grade point of fourth subjects, could get the pass mark against 1,640 seats.
In the 'Ga' unit admission test held on September 5, only 9,906 out of 48,056 participants, who came from business studies group with minimum aggregated GPA 7.5 of SSC and HSC obtained the pass mark against 1,170 seats.
In the HSC examination 2014, a total of 70,602 students got GPA-5 out of total of 1,141,374 examinees under the 10 educations boards, including technical and madrasah boards.
Noted educationist Professor (emeritus) of Dhaka University Dr AF Serajul Islam Choudhury found the poor performance of students in the admission tests as an 'alarming signal', saying that they have been doing good results in the public examinations-SSC and HSC-in recent years, but the quality of education did not improve.
"The good results in the public examinations will be fruitless unless the quality of education is not ensured," he told UNB. Choudhury identified the growing dependence of students on coaching system, absence of cultural life for students and lack of training, and financial and other privileges for teachers as the main reasons behind the low standard of education in Bangladesh. Dr Mohammad Siddiqur Rahman, a professor of Dhaka University's Institute of Education and Research (IER), said the good results in the SSC and HSC do not mean that the quality of education has been ensured.
"If the quality of education is improved, almost all the participants having the excellent results in SSC and HSC examinations might have got the pass mark in the admission test," he added. The poor show in the admission test results has raised a question in public minds about the quality of education, Dr Siddiqur added. However, DU vice-chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique said the university had to maintain the standard of question papers to pick up only 6,700 from among 3,01,800 applicants. Those who did not qualify in the admission tests against limited seats of the university may get chance in other institutions, he added.

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