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Experts divided over why pass rates are down

  • Published at 01:56 am May 7th, 2018
Experts divided over why pass rates are down
After widespread criticism about question paper leak in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination in this year, educationalists are sceptical over the results. According to the results published on Sunday, the pass rates of SSC and its equivalent examinations have fallen again despite widespread question paper leaks during the exams in February and March. The pass rate is 77.77% among the two million candidates this year. The rate is 2.58% down from last year.

Changing exams, inconsistent rates

Several experts however, called the results unreliable due to perennial changes in the exams and the evaluation system. Dhaka University Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam said: “The government is continuously introducing new features in the exam system which creates confusion among teachers and students alike. This result is unreliable. There is no consistency as factors change every year.
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He went on to say: “The quality of teaching in the classroom has fallen. Many teachers do not understand the concept of creative questions. Also, students and parents think grades instead of focusing on learning. All these issues are contributing to the decline in SSC pass rates.”

Results influenced by ministry?

Prominent educationalist Shyamoli Nasrin Chowdhury said: “We have observed that students are not attentive towards studies because of increased access to the internet. The schools are also to blame as they are not providing quality education.” Shyamoli Nasrin also noted that cracking down on use of illegal means in exams have also contributed to the drop in pass rates. She also cited increased restrictions in evaluating answer scripts as a reason. She further said: “The Education Ministry used to instruct teachers to give more marks in order to show a higher pass rate. These instructions were withdrawn this year and the current of results was more accurate as the answer scripts were properly evaluated.

Changing the way things are evaluated

According to Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, no more than 5,000 students nationwide acquired the leaked question papers. He said: “The question paper leaks had no impact on the result of two million students. The new system of evaluating answer scripts introduced in 2017 was applied this year. That is why the rates have dropped.”