Altogether 1,073, 884 students will take the tests that are starting from Apr 1 amid anti-government agitations sponsored by the BNP and its allies.
The number was 67,490 students more last year.
“This could be one of the reasons,” he said.
“The creative questioning can also have led to the decrease, but we’ll look into it. Also the number has gone down due to irregular examinees dropping out .”
Nahid said the number of irregular students had increased last year as many students had failed the HSC tests in 2013.
He said fewer number of irregular students, 12,011, was also behind the decrease in this year’s total number of examinees.
Keeping with last year, tests of total 25 subjects will be taken in creative question sets.
The theoretical tests are scheduled between Apr 1 and Jun 11 and practical exams between Jun 13 and 22.
The education minister at Monday’s press briefing said the education institutions would have to answer if all registered students, of both SSC and HSC levels, fail to take the tests.
He said the problems that were causing the students to drop out, would have to be identified and dealt with.
He said, “Stopping dropouts is a challenge for us.”
Nahid said many institutions also did not ‘allow a number of students to take the exams’ in a bid to show ‘improved results’.
To stop such incidents, the education ministry recently ordered all educational institutions to allow students with 70 percent class attendance to take the public exams even if they fail the test once.