PESHAWAR: Only one student from a government school has made it to the list of top position holders in the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Mardan in the Secondary School Certificate examinations. Moreover, 71% of students from government schools failed the exam.
These trends are at variance to a series of claims made by Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif Khan during a meeting with the private schools association last week. Muhammad Atif had said the standard of education in government schools across the province has improved over the years. He said the parents now prefer to enroll their students in government schools.
The examination results revealed that most government school students passed with very low percentages.
In a similar vein, in Nowshera – the constituency of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak – only a few students from Government High School Pashtun Ghari managed to pass the exams where the school’s overall passing rate was less than 30%.
Mark of failure
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Shafiq Gigyani, an education expert, said the results served as an ever-present testimony of the failure and the incumbent government in boosting the standard of education.
He said the politics amongst teachers in government schools also adversely affected the performance of the students at these schools. “More than 25 teachers organisations are operating across the province,” he said. “On the other hand, teachers have no time to teach.”
He added only 29.5% students in the arts discipline passed the 10th grade exams.
“This means at least 71%students in the government schools failed the exams,” he said.
He pressed the government to focus on improving education standard at schools and take immediate steps to ensure the presence of teachers at institutes.
“They should also focus on teachers’ training and capacity-building in government schools,” he added.
Furthermore, All Primary Schools Teachers Association District Mardan President Farhad Takkar blamed BISE Mardan for discriminating against government school students while marking exams.
He added students from private schools in Swabi and Nowshera managed to secure top positions in the annual examination results while government schools were completely ignored.
“This is because influential politicians own these private schools,” he added.
According to Takkar, the involvement of teachers in politics must be banned. He said both private and public school students must appear in one examination hall on the day of the exam to make sure all students are treated equally by the examiners.
However, Mardan district nazim Himayatullah Mayar told The Express Tribune the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government destroyed the health and education system in the province.
“Education is declining day-by-day due to the ineffective policies of the incumbent government,” he said.
He added a majority of the schools in the district lacked basic facilities and the government had done little to improve the situation.
“Some schools do not even have classrooms and students have to sit under the sky,” he added
He criticised the education minister for not focusing on his own constituency. Mujahid Khan, a PTI MNA from Mardan, said improvements were expected in the education system as Rs112 billion were allocated for education in the fiscal year 2016-17 budget. He said their government is making every effort to remove malpractices from the examination system. “We are doing everything to ensure public confidence in public institutions” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2016.