The current GPA system in Bangladesh is not much old; rather it started its journey in 2001 by its introduction in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination. Later in 2003, it was introduced in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) level. But before this system came into being, there existed the Division Evaluation System.
GPA in Bangladesh
Actually, the Division system was replaced by the GPA system in an attempt to follow the western countries’ examination result system. So it needs to be asked that ‘Is this system performing better with respect to our previous one?’ And it’s almost clear that the answer to this question is not as easy to swallow as it might seem.
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But first, we have to see what the case was during the time of the division system. The highest division, the 1st division was awarded for achieving marks above 60% in all the subjects. 45% above would be considered 2nd division & 33% above marks would be counted as 3rd division. Moreover, above 750 marks total would be distinguished to be star marks while above 80% in all the subjects was honored as the ‘Latter marks’. At that time it was rather uncommon that someone would achieve such marks in the exams. In addition to that, there would be a merit list awarding top 20 students in each board who would ‘make board stands’. This was the ultimate dream for any student back then.
But then in 2001, the GPA system was introduced which would mean that above 80% marks in all subjects would be considered as GPA-5 and the other grades would be for the lower percentages. In that very year (2001) the number of students who got GPA-5 was only 76. But this number increased in a rather geometric rate in the following years and in the previous year (2018) it grew into 1,10,629 students. Now, this leads us to an important question. Is it really possible that the ‘improvement’ of the education system is behind this rapid growth in the numbers? Is it really the case?
Though there may be some valid reasons as to why this may have occurred, like the reformation of the GPA calculating system, then the next question arises: ‘Is such reformation in the evaluation better for this nation?’ The answer to this question becomes clearer when we find that more than one-third of the total youth with HIGHER EDUCATION remains unemployed according to the CPD (Center for Policy Dialogue) in 2018.
For many such reasons, the present GPA system is still being questioned. And the answers to these questions need to be found out as soon as possible. That is because the fate of this country depends on its solution. The concept of the GPA system might sound all positive, but its actual benefit lies in its true application. Otherwise, the whole system would just turn out to be another failed experiment conducted at the costs of millions of lives and dreams.