The flip side to the disappointing fall in the overall pass rate in this year's SSC examinations is that it reflects the result of a more standardised evaluation system introduced by the Education ministry. It seems that this new grading system reduces the possibility of bias or negligence while checking exam scripts.
This is something to welcome as it will help make sure that these crucial board exams are evaluated in a fair, standardised manner. According to the Education Minister, there were flaws in the previous system. This includes teachers giving marks according to the number of pages written rather than the quality of the answers, no monitoring of examiners and no specific rules regarding how scripts should be graded. All this has been eliminated with the new system; the government has trained the chief examiners who, in turn, trained other examiners following a specific guideline.
Thus although there have been more students failing this year, the new system will ensure a more objective marking system. This is definitely a big step in the goal towards improving education standards in our country. But as proved by the tragic news of at least three SSC candidates taking their own lives because they failed in this crucial exam, the education system itself needs major overhaul. There are huge discrepancies in education standards across the country – the high fail rate among Comilla Board candidates in Mathematics and English is proof of this – and this is where major reforms are needed.
The new standardised evaluation system gives us hope that the Education Ministry will be as diligent about making qualitative changes in the curriculum, learning facilities and the quality of teaching so that in years to come the GPA 5 and pass rates will rise because more and more students deserve the grades they get.