Due to coronavirus pandemic, the Primary Education Completion (PEC) and its equivalent examinations will not be held this year, and students will be promoted to the next level through evaluation of their respective institutions. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given her approval in this regard.
The timely decision is undoubtedly appropriate considering the fact that the educational institutions have been closed for a long time. It has not been decided as yet when the educational institutions will be reopened. It was further decided that as it was not possible to conduct the PEC examinations this year, the fifth grade (class five) scholarship would not be given, but the stipend would be given as usual.
The ministry has set a guideline on reopening schools although the date is yet to be decided. According to the ministry’s plan, 80 percent of the syllabus will be covered if schools reopen in September, 70 percent if in October and 60 percent if in November.
The ministry should consider scrapping the PEC examinations permanently
as putting immense strain on young children
may lead them to losing their enthusiasm for studies
The decision to cancel PEC examinations should be made permanent. The PEC exams are held for fifth grade students. At such a young age, the students are put under immense pressure and made to sit for a national board exam. It is unethical to put children of such young ages under this amount of academic pressure. They are ill-equipped at that age to be able to handle the strain of sitting for board exams.
Putting immense strain on young children has repeatedly been shown to demotivate them from education. It might lead them to losing their creativity or enthusiasm for studies. Therefore, the ministry should consider cancelling the PEC examinations nationwide starting from this year. Students should face board exams only after they complete eighth grade education.