Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- About 2.0 million class V students took part in Primary Education Terminal Examinations, the newly introduced public examinations, across the country on Saturday with great enthusiasm.

The examination, which is considered the largest public examination, started at about 10:00 am (local time) with Bangla exam at 5,343 centers across the country and another five overseas.

A total of 1980,180 examinees- 909,984 boys and 1070,196 girls – are taking the public examination for the first time in country, according to statistics.    

The first day of the examinations passed peacefully with lot of enthusiasm among the students, according to reports.

Every exam venue in the capital, Dhaka was thronged by the guardians, especially by the mothers of the children. They say traffic jam and shortage of public transport put much trouble on them to reach the exam centers in time.

The primary and mass education ministry issued a circular on September 13 saying examinations of six subjects- Bangla, English, Paribesh Parichiti Somaj (social science), Paribesh Parichiti Bigyan (science) and religion –will be held in three days.

Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) imposed restriction on public access within 200 yards of the exam centers. It will remain in force until November 24, the DMP said in an announcement.

The government has introduced the new public examination in place of primary scholarship examination with a view to imparting equal education to all students.

From now on, there will be no separate scholarship examinations. The students must pass the terminal exams to get enrolled in class VI. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of their results in two categories — talent-pool and general — half to boys and half to girls.

Earlier, only 40 percent of primary school students across the country used to sit for the scholarship exams. In that system, teachers had to remain busy with an exam meant for some selected students.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-22November09-2:07 am (BST)