Bangladesh to introduce school admission by lottery
Education Minister Dipu Moni has said new students will be admitted to classes 1 to 9 on the basis of a lottery system amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The catchment quota in educational institutions across Dhaka has been increased to 50 percent, from 40 percent, the minister said at a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.
Besides, students residing in Dhaka will have five educational institutions to choose from instead of just one under the cluster-based lotteries, she said.
â€œI have decided to go with the lottery system to avoid health risks. Fate is being given priority over merit. I have been forced to do this.â€
Earlier, the lottery system was only used to admit students to grade 1. Admission tests were held for students of grades 2 to 8. Students were admitted to grade nine on the basis of their results in JSC and JDC exams.
â€œI have considered three options. One of them is holding admission exams. But I don't want to take the risk of bringing students to school. I have thought about the MCQ system. But students will still have to come to school for that,â€ said Dipu Moni.
Even though it is safe for everyone to take online admission tests, it will be difficult to ensure the participation of all, according to the minister. Not everyone has access to the internet and then there are connection problems, she said.
The entire process of admission to grades 1 to 9 will be announced by Dec 7.
Bangladesh had shut down all educational institutions on Mar 17 amid a surge in coronavirus caseload. Apart from Qawmi madrasa, all other educational institutions have been declared shut until Dec 19.
The government will not hold the completions exams of grades five and eight this year. The annual exams of the primary and secondary levels have also been cancelled.
The results of HSC and equivalent examinations will be calculated on the basis of the results of eighth-grade completion, SSC and equivalent exams.