Parents have begun worrying as the time their children's entrance to renowned state-run and private schools, either by lottery or admission test, is approaching.
The lottery system, which is highly appreciated throughout the country, was introduced in 2010 with a view to bringing an end to the psychological torment a preschooler used to face while sitting for admission tests.
A number of parents have said that since there were only a handful of good schools in the capital and since those could not meet such increasing demand, the admission issue was always nerve-wracking for them.
"It is solely luck on which we have to depend,” said Mohammad Hasan, who wishes to get his son enrolled in Government Laboratory School.
The government had ordered lottery, instead of tests, for admission to class-I at all schools. Admission to other classes, except for class-IX, would be done through tests like it was in previous years.
Distribution of admission forms for entry into class-I at government schools in the capital begins today and continue until 5:00pm December 9.
Private schools have already started the process of lottery and admission as per their own schedules.
The lottery for class-I admission for the government schools in Dhaka will be held on December 27 in presence of parents, teachers, school managing committee, and officials concerned, said Prof Noman-ur-Rashid, director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE).
"The lottery results will be announced the same day," the DG told The Daily Star.
The government is going for lottery to select preschoolers in 317 secondary schools across the country. There are 24 government high schools in Dhaka and 13 of them offer education for class-I, accommodating around 2,000 children.
These 13 schools usually remain on top of the limited-income parents' wish list.
Children trying to get into class-II to class-VIII of state-run high schools would have to sit for a written test on Bangla, English and mathematics.
Candidates for class-IX would be selected on the basis of their performance in the JSC and JDC exams.
Like previous years, the DSHE has divided the capital's 24 government schools in three zone groups—A, B, and C where the admission tests would be held on December 14, 15 and 17.
Every school will arrange the test in its own facilities. Results of the tests would be published on December 30, according to DSHE sources.
A candidate would be able to sit for the test for one school in each zone group, they added.
Schools of Group-A include Government Laboratory School, Mirpur Government High School, Motijheel Government Girls' High School, Khilgaon Government High School, Islamia Government High School, Nawabpur Government High School, Mohammadpur Government High School and New Government Girls' High School.
Group-B has Motijheel Government Boys' High School, Narinda Government High School, Government Muslim High School, Banglabazar Government Girls' High School, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Government Boys' High School, Government Bigyan College High School, Dhanmondi Government Girls' High School and Dhanmondi Kamrunnesa Government Girls' High School.
Group-C schools are Dhanmondi Government Boys' High School, Armanitola Government High School, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Government Girls' High School, Tikatuli Kamrunnesa Government Girls' High School, Tejgaon Government Girls' High School, Dhaka Collegiate School, Gonobhaban Government High School and Tejgaon Government High School.
The process of lottery and admission in most of the reputed private schools is going on as per the schools' own schedules.
Viqarunnisa Noon School, one of the most sought-after schools for girls in the capital, has already started the lottery process.
The school has around 1,500 seats in class-I. It has already completed form distribution and interviews of the students to verify their age.
The date for the lottery would be announced after December 16.
"Since the annual exams would begin on December 1 and continue until December 15, we would announce the date after that," said Manju Ara Begum, principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College.
Ideal School and College, Motijheel, another reputed private school in the capital, distributed admission forms in the first phase until Thursday from November 20.
The second phase has started on November 26 and continued till yesterday.
The last date of submitting forms for class-I is November 30 and the school is likely to hold lottery on December 17, 18, and 19.
Most private schools hold admission tests for higher classes subject to vacant seats.