October 26, 2020, 10:20 pm


2020-09-24 11:43:21 BdST

Government allows O Level, A Level exams to be held

The Ministry of Education has given its approval to holding O Level and A Level examinations in November, with some conditions.

The ministry accepted the application to hold the exams, placed by the British Council, the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities, on Wednesday, Education Secretary Mahbub Hossain said.

The decision came on the same day when a group of exam candidates, who have had their tests cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, held a demonstration in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka demanding that the exams be cancelled again, as they were not prepared for them.

The ministry put forth several conditions before the British Council in order for the exams to be held.

One of the conditions says that no more than 1,800 students should be allowed to sit a test in a day at the 35 centres across the country under the British Council.

The Education Ministry further said it had the right to cancel the exams anytime if the situation demanded such action.

Earlier on Sunday, the British Council sent an application to the ministry asking for the examinations to be held under the UK boards, Cambridge International and Pearson Edexcel.

A Level exams under Cambridge International are scheduled to start on October 1, while the exams under Pearson Edexcel are scheduled to begin on October 5.

Edexcel’s O Level exams are scheduled to start on November 2, and the exams under Cambridge are scheduled to start on November 5.

Around 5,200 students are scheduled to sit their exams this term, according to the British Council.

The Cambridge and Pearson exam boards have confirmed that centre-assessed grades will not be available for the October-November series and therefore exams must be held for assessment, sources said.

The British Council will have to ensure safety protocol during the exams as per the government’s public health guidelines as well as those of the World Health Organization (WHO) over Covid-19, the education secretary said.

On Wednesday, candidates of O and A Level exams urged the government to consider cancelling the exams, given the ongoing pandemic situation.

They also demanded grade assessment based on their performance in school.

Earlier on Sunday, the students formed a human chain demanding the cancellation of the exams.

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