The results of the first Secondary Education Examination (SEE), earlier School Leaving Certificate (SLC), were published on Friday.
If the Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.80, considered “good grades”, is taken into consideration, Province 6 has the poorest performance, with Province 3, in which lie Kathmandu Valley and Chitwan district, showing the best performance.
In Province 6, where lies the Karnali region, only 7.06 percent of the 33,194 examinees have scored GPA 2.80 or above. Of the 105,018 examinees in Province 3, 40.51 percent students have got GPA 2.80 or above.
Province 7, the far-west region of the country, has the second lowest average of GPA with just 9.42 percent students getting 2.80 or above.
This is followed by Province 2 and Province 5, the southern plains of the country, with 19.02 percent and 19.5 percent students getting “good grades” respectively.
The disparity shows students in remote regions are still lagging behind for a wide number of reasons.
“This is a clear indication that education delivery is not balanced. The underdeveloped districts have got less attention compared to the developed cities like Kathmandu and Chitwan to name a few,” said Mana Wagle, an education expert.
Out of 437,326 students who appeared in the examination under the regular category last year, 3.76 percent (16,454) students had “outstanding performance” with GPA above 3.60. However, the number has decreased this year with just 2.76 percent (12,284) of the total 445,564 examinees under the regular category becoming “outstanding performers”.
Similarly, over 68 percent of students have got GPA less than 2.00 which was around 55 percent last year.
Wagle attributes the deteriorating performance to the tendency among teachers and students that no one fails in letter grading system.
The government adopted letter grading system last year. The endorsement of the eighth amendment to the Education Act-1972 restructured the education system, making Grade 12 the final year of the school education and scrapping the SLC.
The letter grading system of evaluation, however, allows students to pursue higher education irrespective of how badly they have performed, bar some cases.
Those getting below 1.6 GPA will have to pursue technical courses, while those willing to study humanities in Grade 11 must score GPA above 1.6 and need a D plus in Social Studies. Therefore, Social Studies is the “pass” benchmark for students to study in the regular stream.
As many as 106,464 (23.89 percent of total examinees) couldn’t secure the “pass” grades, meaning they either have to take the test again to increase their grade or pursue technical course.
The results show the students performed poorly in Compulsory Mathematics as 207,076 (around 46.47 percent of the total examinees) have got D or E, followed by Science with 194,791 (43.70 percent) getting D and E. Similarly, 149,029 students failed to get “pass” grades in English.
Wagle catalogues four issues for improving quality of school education. Firstly we need quality teachers, he said. “We must ensure student-centric teaching-learning activities, revision in the curriculum and continuous assessment,” he added. “If
we don’t change ourselves, we are inviting academic accident.”
According to Examination Controller Ambika Prasad Regmi, students who have got D or E grades in maximum of two subjects can take the supplementary exam to get the passing grades. Similarly students who have a C or below in any subject[s] and want to take the exam again, they will be allowed to sit for the exam starting this year. Both the examinations will be held from August 3.
GPA Boys Girls Total
3.65-4.00 7,034 5,250 12,284
3.25-3.60 24,911 17,516 42,427
2.85-3.20 29,472 21,174 50,646
2.45-2.80 33,699 28,256 61,955
2.05-2.40 44,493 46,821 91,314
1.65-2.00 48,390 60,074 108,464
1.25-1.60 27,787 36,790 64,577
0.85-1.20 4,532 6,753 11,285
0.00-0.80 6 9 15
Total 221,682 223,882 445,564