Authorities have cancelled the use of Ghumdhum High School in Bandarban's Naikhongchhari border area as a centre for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams due to security risks caused by the ongoing conflict in Myanmar.
Examinees assigned to the centre will instead be assigned to the North Ghumdhum Government Primary School No. 1 and North Ghumdhum Government Primary School No. 2 centres, according to Professor AMM Mujibur Rahman, examinations controller of Chattogram Education Board.
“One of our teams visited the Ghumdhum High School centre. We have changed the venue based on the instructions received from the ministry. We had to get approval from the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education as the new two venues are government primary schools. The announcement has been made after the ministry approved the centres.”
“The alternative venues have been arranged due to security risks because of the ongoing recent clashes inside Myanmar,” the Chattogram Education Board said in a statement.
The number of SSC candidates sitting for the tests at the Ghumdhum High School centre this year was 461. Of the new venues, North Ghumdhum Government Primary School centre No. 1 has a capacity of 425 students while the North Ghumdhum Government Primary School No. 2 centre has a capacity of 200.
Local education officials will make the seat plans for the new venues, Mujibur said.
This year’s SSC and equivalent exams are set to begin on Thursday. More than 2 million students from 29,735 educational institutes will take part in the tests at 3,700 centres across the country.
Myanmar’s military forces and armed insurgents have been fighting along the Naikhongchhari border for the past two weeks. Bullets and mortar shells are landing in the region. At least two people have died and several others suffered injuries in such incidents on the Bangladesh side of the border.
More than 300 members of Myanmar's Border Guard Police fled to Bangladesh last week after rebels seized a border post. Their weapons were confiscated and they have been kept in a building at Ghumdhum High School under the custody of the Bangladesh Border Guard.
The school’s use as an SSC exam centre was called into question due to the presence of the Myanmar security forces. Education board officials visited the school and recommended alternative centres after considering the situation.