Case of the SSC examinee who has committed suicide

Case of the SSC examinee who has committed suicide

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Legend in the field of journalism in Bangladesh Moulana Akram Khan has stopped the publication of examination results in his popular daily Azad in the sixties when an examinee committed suicide as he did not find his roll number on the pages of the paper and was deeply shocked he had failed.
The poor boy had actually passed the examination, but due to printing mistake his roll number was inadvertently dropped. The examinee who preferred to take his own life out of shame left a big lesson to the renowned editor and writer who preferred not to take chance again to publish full results of Secondary School Certificate Examinations.
On Saturday when more than a million of SSC examinees all over the country rejoiced their results showing 91 plus percentage of pass and 1.42 lakh scoring GPA-V, one of their fellow examinees committed suicide in the port city of Chittagong as the result was not up to his expectation. Mohammad Sourav, son of Sanjida Khatun, a nurse at Chittagong Medical College Hospital, who appeared from a school in Pabna saw he scored GPA-4.03.and hanged himself at a room of their house in Mehedibagh Government Colony under Chawkbazar Police Station at about 4pm.This one untimely and unwanted death should be a good enough lesson for all concerned and a red alert to make sure that the examinations are conducted and the results published in the most careful and mistake-free manner. Needless to mention is the presumption that the examinee who has committed suicide should have been a man of self-confidence and esteem that he found destroyed and could not accept.
It was more than 50 years ago when such a suicide had made Moulana Akram Khan to make sure that callousness did not hurt self-esteem and confidence of boys to the point of committing suicide. At that time the number of examinees all over Bangladesh was such that the roll numbers of all successful candidates could be published in just one edition of a newspaper.
Other newspapers however did not stop publication of full results of SSC and HSC examinations, and the practice continued till the eighties. Now publication of total results in newspapers is an impossible proposition. The numbers of examinees now cross a million – 1.43 million to be more precise this year – and the successful ones know of their results through their educational institutions and the Internet. Scopes of mistakes in making the results known on the first day are almost not there. Physical communication has also improved so much that the results can be made available to the educational institutions well in time.
But the case of the Chittagong suicide points to something which should be looked into with utmost care. It should not be dismissed as just one unexpected death out of 1.43 million examinees. If any mistake is responsible in the collation of the results of the poor boy that has destroyed his psychologically, it should be identified and should not recur. The job of Moulana Akram Khan was easy to identify the mistake just by comparing the results published in his paper and the result sheet supplied by the education board.
Many stories are heard about how examiners these days scrutinize examination scripts. Examiners of today are so much preoccupied with so many things that they often cannot give pull attention to the scripts they scrutinize. The pressure is also heavy for the sheer number of examinees. It is said that some examiners hire people to help with scrutiny of scripts. Collation of marks is also contracted out by some of them due to shortage of time. Proper scrutiny of scripts is bound to be the casualty in the process. But unfortunately for the examinees there is no remedy for half-hearted scrutiny of examination scripts ad the boards, on receipt of complaints just see whether the marks given against different answers have been summed correctly.
Not in a distant past there were cases of bright students who failed to pass because they got less than pass parks in just one subject. The possibility of such failures has diminished these days because examiners are learnt to be advised in advance that students securing not less than 15 should be given pass marks. Who can ignore such advice, because even teachers of non-government schools and colleges are dependent on 90 percent salary support from the national exchequer given by the government? But poor scrutiny of scripts of meritorious students cannot be ruled out. Is the student of Chittagong who has committed suicide the victim of such a lapse? The matter needs proper investigation for remedial measures so that such unfortunate deaths do not recur.

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