Cluster admission test in all public universities! - Dainikshiksha

Cluster admission test in all public universities!

Masum Billah |

All the public universities are going to conduct cluster admission test from the academic year 2023-24 and UGC has been asked to take necessary steps to make it happen. This order has been issued by the Chancellor of the universities on 15 April 2023 with the signature of a joint secretary of the ministry of education who is in charge of secondary and higher education division of the ministry. According to this new rule, to conduct admission test a separate ‘National Testing Authority’ will be formed. Currently the country sees 53 public and 110 private universities. Private universities conduct their admission tests following individual rules and regulations. Among the public universities Dhaka, Jahangirnagar, Rajshahi, Chattogram, BUET and several others run their own admission test. However, 22 general and science and technological universities formed one cluster for running admission test, three engineering and technological universities ( CUET, KUET and RUET) formed another cluster and Agricultural Universities and agriculture subject dominated seven universities formed a different cluster to conduct admission test that has been known as ‘ cluster admission test’ to ease the burden of the admission seekers.

 Jagannath University and Islamic University have decided to withdraw themselves from the cluster system of admission test. As they have not yet published it officially that has caused a little bit delay to circulate the admission test. However, cluster admission test circular has come out but the admission test fee has to be revised as the teacher associations demand. In the current year the academic councils of Jagannath University and Islamic University have decided not to get included in the cluster admission test. Islamic University has already formed two admission test committees. Moreover, several other universities have expressed their desire not to be with cluster admission process. In the midst of this situation, the chancellor of the universities has given the responsibility to the UGC to bring these universities also in the cluster system. We will have to wait to see its effect.

Cluster admission test in medical colleges under the Ministry of Health has been going on for long. Later on, private medical colleges also have joined the process. Now, a uniform admission test for both private and government medical colleges have been introduced and a good result has come up. In line with this process, technological universities also joined the process and they are continuing it. For the last two years, agricultural universities also joined the process. Science and technological universities started cluster admission test since 2020-2021 academic year which is known as GST. But GST created a negative impact on the students, guardians and others concerned because of the lack of experience and mismanagement in conducting the test. After GST admission process was over, some seats remained vacant. Its second time also saw many irregularities such as students remained unaware of what they had to do after coming out their results. By this time many students who have been selected got enrolled in universities staying beyond cluster admission test and some enrolled in private universities and started class. GST tried to defend the cause of their being late to enroll students because of software problem. When GST enlisted universities started class after resolving the admission formalities, the universities beyond GST then already conducted four to five months class that means, they remained ahead of clustered universities. The problems arose during the admission test for the second time also as no real and detailed discussion took place, plan and preparation taking lessons from the first test was not done. Many students got enrolled in other universities because of their fear of session jam. So, some university teachers think because of cluster, meritorious students are not coming to the universities. Moreover, general teachers could not guess the real income and expenditure of the admission test that created some misunderstanding among the teachers. Besides, many teachers could engage themselves in the admission procedure if admission test is taken according to individual university’s regulation but cluster admission test squeezes that possibility. So, many teachers have a silent anger against this cluster admission test. If all the public universities will have to take the responsibility of leadership to conduct admission test that may prove difficult for small universities. If one or two big universities continue leading the process that may create question and anger among the teachers of small universities and can make this process questionable and vulnerable. 

National Testing Authorities can be a solution to these problems as some teachers give their opinion. It’s NTA which can arrange subject wise separate test, such as, Physics, Chemistry, Life Science, Mathematics, Bengali, English, General Knowledge and analytical ability instead of taking only one examination. Pupils will sit for the test as per their choice and target. The questioning pattern should be in such a way as medical, technological, general and science and technological universities can get opportunity to test the subject based  merit and depth of the admission seekers as per the necessity of their respective university criteria. Admission seekers’ data base should be stored on the website of NTA and students will get certificate of their mark sheet. Universities will invite applications from the admission seekers according to the universities’ individual condition. NTA tests will be completed after the completion of HSC examination in second week to four weeks, which may contribute to discouraging  coaching business. Universities will complete their admission process in one month after the publication of HSC results.  That may contribute a little bit to lessen the session jam that  our universities experience.  To ease the burden and tension of the admission seekers, absolutely one test stands as a good solution. However, it may not satisfy the depth and aptitude of knowledge different general and technological universities want to identify in individual students desiring admission. 

Cluster admission test circular has already been made for  2022-23 academic taking lesson from the previous year which  took time to complete admission process due to responding to more than one migration. So it has been decided this year that only three migrations will be completed. Moreover, in the last academic year the students who took improvement test were given opportunity to sit for admission test. This year Jagannath University VC has given his opinion against this decision. The results of the admission test to be uploaded on the website of the clustered universities and the admission seekers have to obtain minimum 30 marks to occupy position in the merit list. They will be penalized 0.25 marks for each wrong answer. Along with the obtained marks in the cluster admission test, the GPA of SSC and HSC , total marks of HSC and the GPA of different subjects and even marks may be considered to make the merit list. Only the pupils who attend admission test under cluster system will be considered for admission later when seats will be vacant. Out of 22 cluster universities admission test seats have been fixed in 19 universities. Pupils will have to choose only one centre and that cannot be changed. To avoid lengthy admission process students will be admitted from only one merit list   and from  three waiting lists at best. Some opine that ‘cluster admission test’ mar the fame and individuality of universities. That is a little bit true.But we cannot afford to avoid the greater interest of the students. Considering the problematic aspects students face to get enrolled in higher education, we need to seriously think of introducing NTA and smooth cluster admission system.

Writer: Lead-Education and Research Team, and Dainik Amader Barta




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