The percentage of students passing the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exam this year was 66.84 per cent, certainly good news. We congratulate the students. Yet it is also sad that so many failed to pass the exam.
More than the students, it is the teachers and the education system that are responsible for this failure. The HSC results of the past five years, as shown in Prothom Alo yesterday, points to a lack of discipline in the sector. It is being said that this year teachers were instructed to follow a new system of exam assessment, leading to a fall in the percentage in passing students. More important than the percentage of passing, is the standard of the exams and the evaluation method.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid has said that this time the exam papers have been evaluated properly. If that is so, has the evaluation of all the exams over the past few years been wrong? For quite some time there have been demands for a proper system to evaluate exam papers, but the demand had been ignored. It was all about boosting the ‘success’ rate. It is the students who are bearing the brunt of this. In many cases, students with the highest GPA-5 grade can’t get admitted into university.
There is another question. If not even 50 percent of the students of Comilla Board could pass the exam, how come 72 percent passed in the Sylhet Board? There can be no acceptable logic to this wide gap. There must be something seriously wrong somewhere. If the problem is not in the evaluation, then it is in the teaching. It has to do with education and the education system. Just as good results under bad evaluation is not desired, nor are bad results under good evaluation.
The quality of education depends on the syllabus, the curriculum, the examination method and proper evaluation. There is no use being exuberant over results at one point, and then justifying falling grades by saying the evaluation has improved. Unless there is an overall assessment of the system, education will take a nose dive. We hope the education ministry takes the matter seriously and adopts the necessary measures to address the problem.