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SSC qualifiers fear stiff contest for college admission

35 Students who recently passed the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations in Sylhet  are worried for their future. Given the scarcity of seats and rampant admission business, they do not know whether they would be able to get into the good colleges.
According to the Sylhet district administration, there are nine government colleges with a total of 1,14,225 seats. And this year some 2,452 students, who achieved the GPA-5 and GPA-4, are eligible for admission into those colleges.
Though this means stiff competition, the students and their guardians said the process might not be fair because of nepotism triggered by political muscle and financial influence.
Mohammad Rofikul Islam, father of Towhidul Islam who achieved Golden GPA-5 from Blue bird HighSchool, said he was tensed for his son’s future. “If he cannot get into a good college, he would not get a chance in a good university. So I am ready to send him to a private college if that is necessary.”
Businessman Foujulbari in Dakshin Surma said: “My daughter did not do well in the examination. So I do not know whether she would make it in to a government college. If not, I can’t afford a private institution. She might just have to end up with vocational courses for girls.”
Sylhet Women’s Govt College, MC College, Madan Mohan Collage, Agrogami Girls School and College. and Cantonment Public College are also preferred by students. However, these institutions prioritise students from their own schools for admission and hence outsiders cannot get in easily.
Educationist M Ataur Rahman pir said it was not possible to increase the number of seats in the government colleges right away. “So the emphasis must be given to enhance the quality of private institutions. Proper training for teachers and various facilities are needed for that.”
Former  principal of Sylhet Government Mohila College Nozrul Haque Chy, said: “Many meritorious students are deprived of admission due to pressure from political figures and the admission business of student leaders.”
Meanwhile, the principal of Modan Mohan College, Professor Abul Fatah Fattah, criticised private institutions for charging more money. “They take extra fees for admission, tuition and other unnecessary purposes. That is why guardians don’t want to send their children to those colleges.”
This year a total of 72,024students took part in the SSC exams and 58,937 of them passed. This pass rate is 81.82% which is less than that of the previous year.