A total of 1,76,282 students obtained the top score of grade point average (GPA-5) in HSC and equivalent examinations this year, which is much less than the number of seats in medical colleges and public universities, except the National University.
The GPA-5 is considered as the highest achievement before entering higher education. This time thousands of students who obtained GPA-5 in HSC and SSC exams will not get the opportunity to get admission in the desired institutions.
The students who have passed the HSC and equivalent exams, results of which were announced on February 8, are now preparing for the admission test of public universities, including Dhaka University.
Alongside the GPA-5 holders, several lakh other students have their required marks to take part in the university admission tests, considering their SSC and HSC results.
Far less than half the seats are in public universities and medical colleges in the country than the GPA-5 holders this year.
So, the admission tests will be very tough as the government medical colleges and public universities have about 65,000 seats against the 1,76,282 students who have obtained GPA-5.
“I want to study at Dhaka University. Although I got GPA-5 in HSC exam this year, I am concerned about getting chance in the country’s leading university as all the high-performing students will compete for admission at the top public universities and medical colleges,” said Talha Alam Chowdhury Manna, who passed HSC exam from SCHOLARSHOME School & College in Sylhet with highest GPA score.
Like Manna, many other students and their parents are going through anxieties over the limited number of seats available at their preferred universities and medical colleges.
Emarat Hossain, a resident of South Banasree area in Dhaka whose daughter passed HSC exam from Siddheswari Girls’ College with GPA-5; expressed fear about his daughter’s future.
“Although we have become happy after the result publication as my daughter obtained a GPA-5 in the HSC exam, we are now concerned over the future of my daughter as it may be difficult for her to get chance in a medical college as GPA-5 holders and other high-performing students, who don’t get GPA-5, will compete against less than 5,000 seats in medical colleges,” said Emarat Hossain.
According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), the country’s 39 public universities have about 60,000 seats. However, public and private universities have a little more than one lakh seats.
On the other hand, Directorate General of Medical Education data shows that the 37 government medical colleges have 4,350 seats for the MBBS course and 532 seats for the BDS course, while the 75 private medicate colleges have 6,336 MBBS and 1,405 BDS seats.
Against this backdrop, expectations for higher education of many GPA-5 holder students in top public universities and medical colleges won’t be fulfilled considering the shortage of seats.
Talking to Bangladesh Post, Mamunur Rashid, a teacher of Abdul Kadir Mollah City College in Narsingdi said that many parents of his students as well as students expressed their frustration over study in public universities and medical colleges for the increase of the number of GPA-5 holders.
A total of 1202 students took part in the HSC exam from the Abdul Kadir Mollah City College. Among them, 1063 students got GPA-5. “It can be said that many GPA-5 holders from our college won’t get a chance to study in any public university or medical college,” said Mamunur Rashid.
However, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said the number of available spots at undergraduate institutions across the country is more than that of students who passed the HSC and equivalent exams this year.
Apart from the spots at medical colleges, engineering institutions, and general and specialised universities, there is an abundance of seats available at colleges under the National University’s purview, according to her.
Although the 39 public universities have 60,000 seats, the total intake capacity at the 95 private universities, madrasahs under the Islamic Arabic University, colleges under the National University and other institutions for higher education is 13,20,000.
According to the University Grants Commission, the 39 public universities in operation have 60,000 seats while the total intake capacity at the 95 private universities, madrassahs under the Islamic Arabic University, colleges under the National University and other three universities is 13,20,000. However, less than 12 lakh students passed HSC this year.
Educationists and many others lamented that the number of quality higher educational institutions had not been raised alongside the increasing number of GPA-5 achievers in the country. So, such a high success rate in HSC and SSC examinations will put a serious burden on leading level public, private and vocational higher education institutions across the country.
“Once the passing rate in SSC or HSC exam was the same, now the passing rate of GPA-5 is almost the same, or close to it,” said a service holder who passed SSC and HSC in 1987 and 1989 respectively.
He also said that increasing the pass rate is good. But why a huge number of GPA-5 holders? If one gets GPA-5 after effort due to his merit, it is not bad. When a student of ordinary merit without super merit or an average student gets a GPA-5, then the question arises.
Those who obtained GPA-5, usually most of the students will have their first goal to get admission in Dhaka University, BUET, Medical College and any other reputed public university. But in such higher educational institutions, as many as there are seats available for admission in the first year, several times the students have got GPA-5.
If a GPA-5 holder has a dream of studying in a university or a medical school, will he get a chance? So this time, despite good results, most students will not be able to get admission in their desired higher education institutions and this is the reality. However, those who can get admission, have to enter a tough fight during the admission test.
After the HSC pass, the level of specialized education begins. Some want to be a doctor, some an engineer. Many people want to study in different branches of Arts and social sciences after getting admission in the university.
If the average students whose results are mediocre do well in the entrance exam, the number of students who drop out will increase even after getting GPA-5. However, in the admission war, they lost points due to not getting GPA-5. If many do not do well in the entrance exam, it is really difficult for those with mediocre results to get a chance in medical or university.
The GPA-5 was not widespread until a few years after GPA-based results began. But from the last few years, there is a huge increase in GPA-5. Many said that only the super talented and the super hardworking should get the GPA-5.