The national pass rate of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations is 80.35% this year. The modest number is a stark contrast with the 88.29% from 2016.
Over the past several years, reports of high pass rates and GPA-5 numbers have been called exaggerated and earned the ire of academics and parents alike.
The new evaluation method implemented by the government seems to be curbing the steep pass rates.
Minister of Education Nurul Islam Nahid appeared amiable yesterday morning when he presented Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the annual results.
The education minister said the new evaluation method has established clearly defined guidelines for examiners to check scripts, which he claimed has resulted in uniform and thorough checking.
“The drop is pass rates is completely normal in line with the standardised evaluation method,” Minister Nahid told reporters on Thursday morning.
“Of course those who were accustomed to the steep pass rates are surprised. But I consider this a positive outcome of the firm new evaluation system,” the minister continued.
Breaking down the numbers
This year, 17,81,962 students sat for the exams - among them 9,10,373 were boys and 8,71,589 were girls.
There were 437 students who sat for the exams overseas. Among them, 412 students passed with 112 GPA-5 grades.
The total number of overall passes is 14,31,722 with 1,04,761 GPA-5 recipients, a 5,000 drop from 2016.
In terms of GPA-5, boys did marginally better with 53,488 clinching the ever-coveted accolade while 51,273 girls achieving the same grade. However, the girls performed overall better with an 80.78% pass rateas opposed to the 79.93% of boys passing the exams.
A total of 350,240 students failed to pass the exams.
In another stroke to set the 2017 SSC exams apart, the Ministry of Education did not highlight institutions with the highest pass rates and highest GPA-5 recipients.