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Authority must ensure a pleasant experience for SSC examinees

Published : Tuesday, 20 February, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 770

Authority must ensure a pleasant experience for SSC examinees

Authority must ensure a pleasant experience for SSC examinees

Many students academic journeys culminate at a critical moment when they sit for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams in Bangladesh. Thousands of students are taking their first public exam, and even if they are excited about the experience, they nonetheless feel quite vulnerable. Examinees general well-being as well as their academic performance may suffer due to the extreme stress and strain that these examinations along with the surrounding environment might cause. As the SSC and related exams for 2024 are being administered, it is crucial to think about how to improve the examinees experience and create a welcoming atmosphere that fosters learning, development, and well-being.

Exams for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent for 2024 began on February 15 at 3,700 locations across the country and are anticipated to bring in 2,024,192 candidates from 29,735 educational institutions. While the examinees are sitting for their first public exam, the overall environment prior to this years SSC exam was highly vulnerable due to political reasons. Moreover, after COVID-19 pandemic, the candidates are attending exam on full syllabus for the first time. Sadly, the majority of SSC examinees find the examination process to be unpleasant because of a number of factors, including related negligence. But with so much stress this year, if we cannot provide the SSC examinees a soothing and stress-free environment, then it will be a daunting experience for the future generation of the country and they might even loose interest in further education.

To improve the SSC exam experience in Bangladesh, it is critical to address the problem of traffic congestion and distant testing locations. Authorities can ensure that SSC examinees and the future leaders of Bangladesh can confidently focus on their exams, free from the stress of navigating congested roads, by implementing a multifaceted approach that includes strategic center placement, scheduling adjustments, collaboration with public transportation services, traffic management plans, technology integration, community involvement, and early awareness campaigns.

The quick response team was established by the DMP Traffic Department to ensure that the candidates could easily get to their designated examination venues. The chief of the DMPs Traffic Department requested that the students leave for their individual examination centers at a time that would allow them to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam. He advised leaving home with caution and taking into account any road crossings on the street. Additionally, he suggested that pupils leave their homes and examination centers on schedule, keeping in mind that there may be road construction or excavation nearby. He also suggested that guardians and examinees ride on transports with care.

Moreover, to ensure that the traffic department can assist as much as possible in an emergency, the pupils and their guardians were encouraged to call 999 for assistance. We have observed that few candidates have received prompt support and therefore this was a kind gesture from the DMP and traffic police. However, it is not acceptable for the SSC examinees to travel widely from one location to another, particularly in a metropolis like Dhaka.

Most of the time, the pupils attend schools close to where they live. However, the majority of their exam locations are in extremely faraway locations. This is unreasoned as rather than moving thousands of students from their comfortable area, if required the authority can move the much fewer number of invigilators or teachers at different centers. Then the traffic movement will be much lower.

Furthermore, it is not appropriate to require all teachers from other educational institutions to serve as invigilators. We cannot expect to create a developed country if we cannot trust its educators. Students should take the SSC exam in their own school, with usual teachers conducting the invigilation. Only a small number of outside invigilators can be assigned. It is time to give students welfare some thought and create an environment that fosters their growth.

In light of the current situation, working with public transportation providers can offer a workable solution to the traffic problem. For SSC examinees, special arrangements like more frequent buses or special routes to examination centers during exam season can come out as a solution. During the SSC examination period, local authorities and traffic management agencies should collaborate closely to create and carry out particular traffic management measures. This could entail designating specific lanes for the transportation of students or implementing temporary traffic reroutes to enable more efficient movement around testing locations.

Furthermore, the atmosphere is unsuitable for healthy physical and mental growth, particularly in Dhaka. Dust pollution, air pollution, sound pollution, and visual pollution all make the travel to exam centers unpleasant. Unfortunately, city mayors do not take any step to make this experience more enjoyable for pupils. Students can be mostly shielded from dust and air pollution if, as a small initiative, they make sure to water the roadways in Dhaka city before the exam. But you never see such initiative.

The relevant authorities should also think about the possibility of reducing the number of examination venues. To accommodate more students, they have the option of selecting a few sizable locations. This will guarantee improved environmental monitoring and make management considerably simpler.

The establishment of inclusive examination facilities is essential to guaranteeing a positive experience for every SSC examinee. Students with disabilities should be able to utilize the facilities, and special adjustments should be made to meet their requirements. While preparing academically is important, exam centers also need to have a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere. Examinees whole experience can be greatly enhanced by a pleasant environment, which creates an enjoyable climate for success and concentration.

Infrastructure that is both pleasant and well-equipped must be given first priority in examination premises. Exam rooms with plenty of seats, good ventilation, and lighting create a calm atmosphere that helps students concentrate on their tasks without interruptions. For SSC examinees, having access to clean drinking water, restrooms, and dedicated rest places can make the examination process more comfortable and enjoyable. Exam centers frequently fail to maintain cleanliness, particularly in the restrooms, which is stressful. Therefore, the authorities need to be especially careful about that.

Prior to the commencement of the SSC exam, the mayors of each city had to have made a visit to each exam center. They ought to have made sure that there is no risk from dengue mosquitoes at the exam centers since dengue season is quickly approaching. Examinees will become disoriented and possibly even afraid if there are insects, such as mosquitos, present in the examination rooms. Therefore, the mayors of the cities ought to have given the relevant authority instructions to adequately treat the exam centers and the surrounding regions against Aedes mosquitoes. They should keep an eye on whether the grass is cut appropriately and make sure that the exam facilities are free of any areas where aedes can breed. The mayors of the cities may have made sure that the SSC examinees even received a warm welcome at their constitutions.

This year, the Education Minister made a wise choice by refusing to attend any testing locations during exam hours, as this adds unnecessary stress and occasionally even results in exam time loss. However, it increased the demand for qualified invigilators, who play an important role in setting the exam environment. Examiners who receive training on being sympathetic, personable, and encouraging can have a positive effect on the mental health of SSC candidates. Additionally, providing SSC examinees with post-exam support services like counseling or advice sessions will help them manage any tension or anxiety they may feel.

The formation of extensive support networks should be given top priority by the educational system in light of the complex difficulties confronted by SSC examinees. Building a friendly or supportive atmosphere requires developing awareness campaigns to de-stigmatize getting care for mental health problems. Furthermore, since we are working to create a "Smart Bangladesh," the same idea ought to be applied to our examination system by incorporating helpful technologies to streamline the entire procedure.

The future of Bangladesh lies with the SSC and equivalent examinees. They will eventually guide the nation toward growth and advancement. They will not be able to contribute to the benefit of our country and other citizens if we disrupt them from the outset of their growth trip. In order to ensure that SSC examinees and other public examination attendees have a positive experience, we thus expect that the relevant authority will treat this issue seriously and, if not this year, will take major action from next year.

The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA) and Editor at Kishore Bangla







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