Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab
Educational FB pages caught spreading false news related to education
This article is more than 3 months old

Ministry requests all not to be misled by such information

Educational FB pages caught spreading false news related to education

Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab

Information has been circulating on social media claiming that the PSC (Primary School Certificate) and JSC (Junior School Certificate) exams will be conducted again starting from the 2024 batch. Multiple education-related Facebook pages (1, 2, 3, 4)  have disseminated such information. However, upon verification by Dispositively, it has been observed that this information regarding changes in the education program is not accurate. Mohammad Abul Khair, a public relations officer at the Ministry of Education, has stated that no such announcement has been made by the ministry.

In 2021, the government of Bangladesh made decisions to bring about changes in the primary and secondary education systems. Former Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni announced that starting in 2023, there will no longer be PSC and JSC examinations based on the new education curriculum.

After the 12th National Parliament Election on January 7th, a new cabinet has been formed in Bangladesh. Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury has taken on the responsibility as the new Minister of Education. After assuming office on January 14th, during a conversation with journalists, he mentioned that, if necessary, changes will be made in the assessment of the new curriculum. Subsequently, there have been unverified pieces of information circulating on social media regarding the resumption of examinations for PSC and JSC.

A message has been posted on the Facebook page ‘Education News,’ stating, “**Breaking News** Final announcement of taking PSC and JSC exams from the batch of 2024!” Subsequently, this information has been shared from various Facebook pages (1, 2) and profiles (1, 2) based on that source.

The ‘Education News’ page has posted this information three times, as observed in the analysis. The first post was made on January 15th, Monday, at 5:22 PM. Since then, the post has been shared 436 times. More than two thousand users have reacted to the post, and there are 341 comments. One user expressed belief in the accuracy of the information, stating, “A very good decision.” Another user commented, “A time-appropriate decision.”

Approximately one and a half hours after the previous post, another post of a similar nature is made, stating, “All students want to return to the PSC and JSC exams…” In the latest post, it is mentioned, “The new curriculum is returning to the previous examination method! Final announcement of taking PSC and JSC exams from the batch of 2024.” This last post was made at 9:14 p.m. A keyword search on Facebook reveals many more similar posts (1, 2). These posts have been shared on various education-related Facebook pages.

To verify the accuracy of the information, contact was made with Mohammad Abul Khair, a public relations officer at the Ministry of Education. He stated, “The information is false. The Ministry of Education has not made any such announcement.” He advised checking the Ministry’s official website and verified page on Facebook for any information related to the Ministry of Education.

The incident of spreading false information related to education through education-based Facebook pages is not a new occurrence. Previously, in February 2023, a Facebook page named “Bangladesh Shikkhabarta” claimed that, to enroll a child in school, permission must be obtained from the head teacher. At that time, fact-check reports were published by various fact-checking organizations (1, 2) to verify the authenticity of such information.

In November of last year, another education-related page, ‘NU Notice Board,’ disseminated false information. In an advertisement, it was stated, “An urgent notice regarding the postponement of all upcoming exams under the National University scheduled to be held on 02/11/2023 (Thursday).” The announcement claimed that the exams for that day were postponed. However, a fact-checking organization revealed in their fact-check report that this information was false.

In December of last year, another false piece of information was spread through an education-related page. At that time, the page ‘Shikkhabarta-Education News’ shared a fake routine for the 2024 SSC examinations using digital technology. This information was disseminated on Facebook. There is a fact-check report regarding this incident as well.