Wasim Bin Habib
With more students achieving the highest grade, the results of this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations have beaten all the previous records.
The pass rate hit a record high of 89.72 percent, 3.40 percentage points higher than that of the last year, according to the results published yesterday.
The results show a significant improvement in other indicators — the number of schools with cent percent pass rate rose remarkably while the number of schools with zero pass rate and the number of failed students came down.
The combined pass rate in all the 10 education boards, including Dakhil examinations under the madrasa board and vocational examinations under the technical board, also broke all the previous records with 89.03 percent examinees coming out successful.
Last year, the combined pass rate was 86.32, which was 82.31 percent in 2011.
A total of 77,381 students under eight general education boards secured the highest grades GPA-5 this year, up by 12,129 on last year. The number of top graders in 10 boards combined also rose to 91,226 from last year’s 82,212.
Only 76 examinees had secured GPA-5 in 2001 when the grading system was introduced.
Education board officials attributed applying creative question method in 21 subjects, expanding teachers’ training on creative question, special care on English and mathematics and students’ reliance on textbooks to this success.
“The results showed a positive progress in all indicators. Not only the pass rate, a qualitative change in the standard of education has also been apparent,” said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at a crowded press conference at the ministry at 1:00pm yesterday.
Earlier in the morning, he handed over the results to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The minister also credited Junior School Certificate (JSC) and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) examinations for the success.
“The students who took this year’s SSC examinations were the first batch of JSC and JDC examinees. The JSC and JDC exams boosted their confidence and they became more acquainted with the creative method,” he added.
Above all, Nahid said, it was the creative question system that had a major impact on the success, lessening the practice of memorisation to a greater extent.
“We have trained around five lakh teachers of secondary level on creative question method. It has enabled the teachers to simplify the lessons to the students, who understood the lessons better and did well in the exams,” he mentioned.
Sharing her views with The Daily Star, Dhaka board Chairman Prof Taslima Khatun said, “Now the students need to study textbooks as it is not possible to answer the questions without having thorough knowledge of the textbooks. The students can apply their creativity under this creative method.”
Besides, she said, the board has ensured close monitoring on classroom activities as well. The pass rate in English and mathematics is quite good.
As many as 12,97,034 students from 27,072 institutions took this year’s SSC and equivalent exams that began on February 1 and ended on March 15. Of them, 11,54,778 have become successful.
The results were available in schools, on education boards’ websites and mobile phones through SMS.
Yesterday, the schools across the country wore a festive look following the publication of the results. Students and parents, who had been on their nerves for the last few days, burst into joy as soon as they received the results. Many were seen distributing sweets among relatives and friends.
Boys did better than the girls in terms of pass rate. The success rates of boys and girls are 89.18 and 88.88 percent.
The number of institutions with zero pass rate under the eight boards came down to five from last year’s 14. However, no student passed from 17 institutions under the madrasa board.
On the other hand, the number of institutions with cent percent pass rate rose to 5,092 from last year’s 3,377.
Three out of seven centres abroad saw cent percent success with 75 out of 285 students achieving the highest grade (GPA-5).
In terms of success rate, Rajshahi board is on the top with 94.03 percent pass rate while Dhaka at the bottom with 87.31 percent.
In Dhaka board, Ideal School and College, Motijheel topped the list of 20 best institutions. Viqarunnisa Noon School and Rajuk Uttara Model High School and College ranked second and third based on five academic standards.
Students of science group have continued to outnumber other groups with 94.95 percent pass rate. The pass rate is 85.56 percent in humanities group and 90.93 in commerce group.
Like previous years, schools in urban areas, especially in metropolises, dominated the top-20 list, GPA-5 category and 100 percent pass record.
During yesterday’s press briefing, the education minister rejected outright the claim whether the teachers gave wholesale pass marks and were flexible in evaluating exam papers. The students have passed on the basis of their merit, he noted.
“When we came to power, we found most unsuccessful students used to flunk in English and mathematics. We arranged special training for the teachers of 4,500 institutions on the two subjects,” said Nahid.
Prof Tanbirul Alam, chairman of Rajshahi education board, said apart from training, they had several meetings with the teachers on creative system and classroom lessons.
The trained teachers taught the students well that helped achieve better results. Besides, the students and their parents are aware of the need for education, he mentioned.
The big success, however, leads to a concern for many successful students as they now would have to face some stiff competition to enrol at renowned colleges.