When more than 21 lakh students across the country are sitting for the Secondary School Certificate and equivalent exams beginning at 10:00am today, a student in Kushtia will take the exam eight hours later in the evening, for religious reasons.
Ricky Patty, a resident of Kumarkhali upazila, is a candidate from Perfect English Version School under Jashore Education Board.
His family belongs to the “Seventh Day Adventist” community, a denomination of Protestant Christians who observe “Sabbath” from Friday dusk to Saturday dusk.
During the period, they do not work, including writing, except for rest and worship, revering “God's Rest” following the six days of creation, described in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
The board authorities made this arrangement after the examinee applied for this opportunity a few days after the publication of the exam schedule.
In his application, the boy requested the authorities to arrange his exams between 6:00pm and 9:00pm for the papers scheduled for every Saturday on religious grounds.
The board authorities have decided to accept his request and published a circular on their website saying that his exams on Saturdays -- February 2, 9, 16 and 23 -- will be arranged separately in the evening on those days, Madhab Chandra Ruddro, controller of examination of the board, confirmed the matter.
“The decision was made at a board meeting,” he added.
Mahtab also mentioned that the boy would have to enter the exam hall at 9:00am, along with all other students, and stay there for the whole day.
“He would not be allowed to make any outside communication during the period,” the exam controller said, adding that they would ensure food and other arrangements for his exams.
Contacted, Ricky said he was thankful to the board authorities for their consideration.
Some nine families of the community are living in greater Kushtia, including Chuadanga and Meherpur Christian dioceses.