Political unrest hampers admission prep for HSC 2023 intake

Shakia Rahman, an admission aspirant from HSC 2023 intake, is now in a dilemma scheduling her study plan for the forthcoming “admission war” — as the Election Commission’s announcement to hold the national polls on 7 January pushed the nation to a political violent turn on streets.

“The result is out. Yet I don’t know when the exams are likely to happen. We are already behind the usual academic schedule because of COVID-19 delays. Now these uncertainties…It is disrupting my study plans. I don’t know how much time I have,” she said.

Meanwhile, there are roughly 60 thousand seats available in the county’s government-funded public and engineering universities along with the medical colleges altogether.

Not all of these seats can attract admission seekers as most of the students chase to grab a seat at a top-tier university in a major city – also with a demanding subject.

Shakia has a dream to be a neurosurgeon and so she is eyeing a public medical college now, where the total number of seats is 5,380 – thanks to the government’s recent decision to add 1,030 more seats to these public medical colleges.

“Hundreds of candidates fight for a seat in these medicals, it’s not easy. If I cannot crack it, I have to resort to preparing for other pure subject universities. But the curriculums, subjects, structures, marks distributions differ from one university to another,” she said.

As the HSC 2023 result was published on 26 November, out of over 13 lakh students across 11 education boards in the country, 92,365 students have achieved GPA-5.

The path to engineering universities often parallels the science department exams at public universities, but the journey to medical college is quite different.

“While the focus on subjects like Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics can cover one’s preparation for institutions like BUET or Dhaka University’s ‘A’ unit, medical college entrance exams are quite different. It includes subjects like Biology and General Knowledge…and there is an MCQ style question pattern,”

explained Imtiaz Shorif, a 4th-year MBBS student at Dhaka Medical College, who now also takes admission preparation classes at a medical coaching centre in the capital.

“Given the limited time at hand, it is important to make every second count. Trying to juggle multiple subjects, syllabus, and question patterns only burdens the mind unnecessarily,” he added.

Talking to The Business Standard (TBS), Imtiaz also highlighted the challenges that students are facing this year because of ongoing political turmoil, particularly students arriving from outer districts to Dhaka solely for admission preparation.

“I have seen a majority number of students come from outside of Dhaka. Their college was in another town. Because of the political situation in Dhaka, I think most of them are struggling to adapt to the city and the situation.

“While taking classes in coaching, I observed some of them as potential, but they are not regular and most of the time, they remain zoned out in classes,” said Imtiaz.

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