Withheld SAT results paint a dismal picture of Sindh’s education system

No city in Sindh save Karachi managed more than 29% passing students


Safdar Rizvi February 15, 2019
PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

KARACHI: When the Sindh Education Department introduced the Standardised Achievement Test (SAT) in 2012 to assess the performance of students as well as the quality of education in Sindh's public-sector schools, it offered a ray of hope to many.  But when the results of the sixth and the last SAT were withheld by the Education Department for over a year, it became a matter of growing concern and suspicion.

Express News has finally obtained the unpublished results for SAT-6, and to the dismay of parents, teachers and students, the results are far from satisfactory.

Led by the Sindh Education Sector Reform Project (SERP), the test is conducted each year through the funding of the World Bank and in collaboration with IBA Sukkur for fifth and eighth graders studying across public-sector schools in the province.  The last test, SAT-6, was held in February 2018.

Despite the tall claims of the Sindh government, the result showed that with the exception of Karachi, no city in Sindh could deliver over 29 per cent of the results. And although the test - based on Math, Science and Language (Sindhi/Urdu/English) - was prepared from text books, over 71 per cent of the enrolled students failed to qualify.

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The poor performance of students shows that despite receiving billions of rupees in funding from the World Bank, the European Union (EU), and several other institutions over a period of two decades, the standard of education in Sindh's public-sector schools failed to improve to the desirable level.

When the Sindh Education Department was approached to comment on the undue delay in announcing the results, The Express Tribune was told that the results had been withheld because projects running through the funding of the World Bank have come to an end and SAT-6 was the last test of its kind.

"The results haven't been published yet because the concerned department is currently analysing the results to determine the extent of improvement achieved by Sindh's public-sector schools from 2012 onwards," said Asif Ikram, the chief programme manager at Reform Support Unit - a sub-institution of the Sindh Education Department.



Region-wise breakdown

Students from all parts of Sindh took the SAT-6 test in three subject areas - Mathematics, Science, and Language.

Per the results, 24.68 % of fifth graders and 28.64% of 8th graders passed the test in Karachi.

In Hyderabad, 25.36% of fifth graders and 27.74% of 8th graders passed the test while in Larkana 21.84% students of the 5th grade, and 26.16% students of the 8th grade could successfully pass the test.

From Mirpurkhas, only 28.42% of 5th graders, and 28.83% of 8th graders could pass the test. In Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah), 25.77% of 5th graders and 28.51% of 8th graders could pass the test.  As for Sukkur, 24.28% of 5th graders and 28.51% of 8th graders passed the test.

Results of Grade 5 students

A detailed scrutiny of the results issued on the basis of regions revealed that in terms of the language test of fifth-grade students, no region could deliver more than 37% of results. The result for mathematics, meanwhile, was less than 27% and that of science was just 23 %.

In Karachi, the language test result for 5th graders was 30.63%, the result for mathematics was 21.92% and that of science was 21.49%.

In Hyderabad, the language test result for 5th graders was 34.59 %, while math was 22.19% and science was 19.31%.

Similarly, for Larkana, the result for language test was 30.54%, math was 18.55% and science was 16.44%.

The fifth graders' language result in Mirpurkhas was 36.92%, math 26.31 % while science was 22.2%.

The language result of fifth graders studying in Shaheed Benazirabad public schools was 35.3 %, for math 22.92% and for science, 19.1%.

In Sukkur, public schools' result for language was 33.46%, for math 20.81% and for science 18.58%.

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Results of eighth graders

The results for eighth-grade students in the three subjects across all the six regions in Sindh, with the exception of the language test, remained at 49%, while the result for math was 17 % and that of science was no more than 25%.

In Karachi's public-sector schools, the percentage of the language test was 45.6%, for math 15.83% and that of science 24.5%.

In Hyderabad, the percentage of the language test was 46.29%, for math 15.8% and for science 21.13%.

In Larkana, the percentage of the language test was 44.36%, math was 14.81%, while science was 19.31%.

In Mirpurkhas, language test result was 46.16%, math was 16.8 % and science was 23.52 %.

In Shaheed Benazirabad public schools, the result for the language test was 46.88 %, for math 16.34% and for science 22.3 %.

In Sukkur, the result of the language test was 48.1 %, for math 16.08 %, and for science, 21.35 %.

Result of Karachi's districts

The 5th graders' result for Karachi Central district in all subjects was 25.53 % and for that of 8th graders was 29.13% for all subjects.

For Karachi East, the result for 5th graders was 26.27%, while that of 8th graders was 28.6 %.

For Korangi public schools, the result for 5th graders was 23.96 %, while that of 8th graders was 29.23%.

For Malir Karachi, the result for 5th graders was 23.95%, while that of the 8th graders was 26.56%.

For Karachi South, the result of 5th graders was 23.96%, while that of 8th graders was 28.17%.

For Karachi West, the result of 5th graders was 24.45%, while that of 8th graders was 28.69%.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2019.

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