Dhaka, Bangladesh
Uniform univ entry tests needed

Editorial

Uniform univ entry tests needed

The admission tests in the public universities appear as an annual nightmare to admission- seekers whose dreadful plight can hardly be exaggerated. Every admission-seeker has a tale of harrowing experience to tell. In view of the sufferings and hassles of admission- seekers as well as guardians during the period of admission process, President Abdul Hamid himself, who is also the chancellor of all universities, gave a directive about seven years ago to assuage the sufferings of the admission- seekers. According to a report published in an English Daily on Wednesday, no tangible steps were taken so far to implement the directives of the President. The cluster system of admission tests seems to be elusive. Seven years ago, an initiative was taken to introduce a uniform entry test system in public universities. But the initiative was a flop for the reasons best known to the authorities concerned. Since then the issue went into hibernation. President Abdul Hamid once again on November 2, 2016 favoured the uniform admission tests. But there was little progress in this respect so far. The education ministry along with the University Grants Commission (UGC) formed a seven-member high-powered committee headed by UGC chairman on January 14 to ensure that the directives of the president are implemented quickly. But we still see the inordinate foot-dragging over the issue of uniform or cluster system of admission tests in the public universities as the committee did nothing except holding a single meeting. It is yet to sit with the stakeholders of the universities. We are very fond of paper work instead of quick progress in work. The committee members promised that a ‘concept paper’ would be finalised by February 15, but till now, it has not been done. The admission tests of each university are held separately on different dates and this compels students to rush from one district to another and spend a lot of money. The students and the indigent guardians coming from remote areas have to bear the heavy financial burden for accommodation, transportation and food. Besides, some public universities opposed this cluster system on the lame expostulation that it would pare down their income they earn from the sale of admission forms. This is another roadblock to higher education for poor students as the cost of forms is too high. Why do the public universities oppose the cluster system of admission tests, when the medical colleges have successfully implemented it? The system of uniform admission tests in all the public universities should be introduced without any further delay as seven years have already elapsed.

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