Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent examination results could have been much better if the examinees were not affected by BNP-Jamaat enforced hartals and blockades during their examination.
"Examinees had to face serious difficulties due to frequent shifting of their exam dates as the BNP-Jamaat had enforced blockades with frequent hartals during the examinations. Otherwise, the overall results would have been much better," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, came up with the assertion while speaking at SSC results handing over ceremony at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital in the morning. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid formally handed over a copy of the results of the 10 Education Boards to the Prime Minister.
Sheikh Hasina said that the examinations have been held amid unfavourable political atmosphere. She congratulated examinees for their successes as well as the teachers, guardians and other concerned for holding the examination and publishing the results.
"Our students are meritorious and they can do well, if they are given the minimum opportunities," she said.
She also said that the 87.04 per cent pass rate, which is 4.30 percentage points lower than that of last year, is a great achievement considering the obstructions caused by the destructive politics of the BNP-Jamaat alliance during the examination period.
"Despite the adverse situation, the examinees came out successfully in a large number. It is a big achievement," the Prime Minister said.
Citing the plight of SSC examinee Minhajul Islam Anik, who lost one of his eyes in a bomb explosion in Feni on January 5 this year during the BNP-Jamaat blockade, the Prime Minister said no mercy will be show to those who play with the fate of the people.
"I hope such a tragic incident won't happen again. If it occurs, we won't spare the culprits. They must be punished," she said.
In this connection, coming down heavily on the BNP-Jamaat clique for unleashing terrorism and destruction of national and private property through burning in the name of movement over three months since January this year, Sheikh Hasina asked what type of patriotism it is?
Calling upon the BNP-Jamaat nexus to refrain from destructive acts including burning people and unleashing vandalism, Sheikh Hasina said, "No mercy will be shown to those who play ducks and drakes with the lot of the people. They have no right to burn or kill the innocent people."
Sheikh Hasina said the BNP-Jamaat terrorists killed innocent people including women, children, bus, truck and CNG drivers like the way the Pakistani occupation forces killed the freedom-loving people in 1971 by following "Pora Mati" (scorched earth) policy.
"The word of the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971 was we want land, not people. There was a reverberation of the word in the voice of BNP-Jamaat, especially in the BNP leader," she said.
Describing education as the main tool for building a poverty-free Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said her government is firmly committed to achieving the goal.
"It is not possible to eliminate poverty without development of education," she said.
The Prime Minister urged the students to pay more attention to their studies for better results to establish Bangladesh as an enlightened and dignified nation on the world stage.
In this connection, the Prime Minister spelled out her government's steps for the development of education. The measures included nationalization of primary schools and jobs of their teachers, distribution of free textbooks on the first day of the year, providing stipends to huge number of students, formation of Prime Minister's Education Assistance Fund and setting up multimedia class rooms in large number of schools.