Moudud Ahmmed Sujan
The town-bound mentality of bright rural students coupled with teacher lackings, are being blamed for their poor performance in the HSC and equivalent exams.
Jewel passed this year’s (2018) Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination with ‘A minus’ grade from Annadanagar College, under Pirgachha Upazila in Rangpur district. Only three students secured GPA-5 from that Upazila. Like many students in that Upazilla, he too did not get quality education for many reasons despite his strong interest for a good result.
“The main reason behind our unpleasant performance in HSC is the reluctance of our teachers. As we want to get detail studies, our teachers fail to meet our quest, because they come to class with no preparation. We had also very little opportunity to learn through tuition because of having no qualified teachers, as well as for financial shortcomings,” Jewel told Bangladesh Post in an interview on phone.
Pointing to the financial crisis in most of the rural families, Jewel said, “You will find that fifty percent of rural students cannot concentrate on full-time study, as they have to assist their families in earning a livelihood. Most of our families cannot bear private tuition fees and hardly any other quality educational expenses. Whoever can, they send their children to the cities.”
However, Md Hanif Uddin, principal of Jewel’s College disagreed on this saying, “How could we say our teachers, teaching for over ten years aren’t qualified ? Actually, it is very difficult to keep the brilliant students from going to town colleges for study. Most of the students we get have poor results in SSC.”
On Thursday, nine general and two special education boards [Madrassa and Technical] published HSC results simultaneously across the country which show 40 percent of students scoring GPA-5 are from Dhaka city alone while students from rural districts lagged behind their fellows in cities in terms of pass rate.
The number of educational institutions having less than 50 percent pass rate have grown almost fourfold to 2081 in five years, and most of the institutions with 0-50 per cent pass rate were from rural areas. The results showed that 10,399, out of 25,562, achievers of GPA-5 in eight general education boards were from the capital, as the colleges of Dhaka are well-equipped with better facilities.
Students of 18 districts took the HSC exams under Dhaka Education Board, but surprising 10,399, out of 12,938, GPA-5 scorers were from the capital alone.
About 13 percent of students who passed from capital achieved GPA 5, while 0.30 percent students who passed from Shariatpur scored GPA 5 and 0.97 percent successful students earned GPA-5 from Faridpur.
The pass rate was 83 percent in the capital, 51 percent in Faridpur and 50 percent in Rajbari.
Of the successful students, 3.64 percent in Sylhet district, 0.45 per cent in Habiganj, 2.41 percent in Barisal and 0.65 percent in Patuakhali scored GPA-5.
The pass rate was 66.91 percent in Sylhet district, 57.75 percent in Habiganj, 76.30 percent in Barisal and 61.22 percent in Patuakhali.
Meanwhile, a total of 1,613 students got GPA-5 in Chattogram Board where 1,420 students are from the institutions of Chattogram city while only 139 students achieved GPA-5 from five districts under the board.
Students of 253 colleges took part in HSC exams under the board this year where the pass rate was less than 50 percent of 174 colleges and most of them are located in the rural areas.
Educationists blamed the shortage of competent teachers, laboratories, libraries and other facilities in rural colleges for rural students falling behind their urban compatriots.
World renowned physicist Prof AA Mamun of Jahangirnagar University told Bangladesh Post, “There is lack of qualified teachers in the schools and colleges in the rural areas… Previously, brilliant students stayed in village institutions after completion of education. But now, they head to the cities for many reasons. This creates a discrimination of opportunity”
About the implementation of the bar on private tuition, he said, “Government has failed to stop this. As a result, students are forced to learn from teachers in houses in exchange of money which is not possible for the rural students as most of them are insolvent.”
“I think, the government should concentrate on how the qualified teachers and students will stay in rural areas. If a qualified teacher is paid handsome salary, the culture could be changed,” he added.
Md Hanif Uddin, principal of Annadanagar College told Bangladesh Post, “The government should implement distribution mechanism during college admission. It shouldn’t be controlled by the guardians on where their sons or daughters would study HSC. Government should distribute on an average as per the quality. Only then the situation can be changed.”