The medical and dental college admission tests, which have been shrouded by uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held in the first week of March 2021, the government officials have said.
A notification could be issued 'within the next two weeks' once the plans are finalised, according to officials at the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division and health education department.
"We are working on how to conduct the admission tests against the backdrop of the pandemic,” Md Ali Noor, secretary of Medical Education and Family Welfare Division, told bdnews24.com.
Dr AHM Enayet Hussain, director general of the health education department, said preparations are underway to conduct the tests.
"We are waiting for the HSC results. Maybe the results will be delivered soon. An official decision will be made in the next two weeks.”
"We are currently thinking about holding the tests in the same way as before and we will do whatever is necessary to protect everyone’s health. We haven’t finalised our decision yet. We are thinking about holding the exams at the beginning
of March. We will let you know after finalising our decision,” Enayet added.
Educational activities are carried out in 36 government and 70 private medical colleges across the country. There are 4,068 seats in government medical colleges and 6,340 in private institutions.
This year, 282 extra seats were added to the 18 government medical colleges. In total, 10,690 students will be able to take admission to government and private medical colleges this year.
In the 2019-2020 academic year, more than 72,000 students took the medical admission tests, according to the health education department. Generally, the admission process for medical and dental students starts from October to November every year,
after the publication of HSC results. An introductory session for the students is officially held on Jan 10. The classes start after January.
But the HSC exams have been postponed this year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The government has decided to evaluate the HSC candidates on the basis of their eighth-grade completion and SSC results.
A meeting was held at the ministry last week on medical and dental admission tests, said DGHS Director (health education) Dr AKM Ahsan Habib. It was decided in that meeting to conduct the tests in March.
"We are still thinking about conducting in-person tests. The decision is fairly certain. It has been decided no tests will be held during the winter months of December and January. Tests are conducted on Fridays. We have calculated that Mar 5 is a
Friday and the tests may be held on that day.”
Last year, medical and dental admission tests were conducted at 32 venues under 19 centres across the country. The number of venues might increase this year due to the pandemic, said Habib.