Education sector: Public school examinees perform poorly

Education experts claim high school students at govt institutions are not taught exam attempting techniques

Wisal Yousafzai November 27, 2023
Education sector: Public school examinees perform poorly


Contrary to popular belief, the performance of a student on an exam is not always reflective of their intellectual prowess or study vigour since a variety of factors including their sleeping patterns, dietary habits and familiarity with exam techniques, impact their ability to demonstrate their knowledge effectively on the exam day therefore, for high school students in K-P, the lack of dedicated coaching by teachers means that many brilliant minds bring harrowing report cards back home.

For instance, Abdul Jabbar Khan’s son, a fairly bright student, failed two subject tests during the recent examination session, putting his parents not only into a phase of disappointment but also of disbelief. “My son had a bent for almost all subjects therefore the results have come as a shock for us and many other parents,” said Khan.

“There is no monitoring of teachers in government schools. Instead of giving their dedicated attention to students, many are engaged in real estate and commercial activities during school hours,” claimed Khan, who urged the Education Department to fine teachers who were absent from school and hold them accountable for their below par pedagogical performance, which culminated in the regrettable grades that students managed to secure.

According to data obtained by The Express Tribune from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Monitoring Authority (KPEMA), 160,461 examinees out of a total of 490,776 Grade 9 and 10 students from areas including Kohat, Bannu, Malakand, Abbottabad, Peshawar, and Mardan had failed the examinations while the overall passing ratio for Grades 9 and 10 was only 49.89 per cent in government schools in comparison to the much higher passing ratio for private school students which stood at 73.95 per cent for the same areas. Moreover, Grade 9 students comprised the highest percentage of failing students, with almost 50 per cent of the examinees unsuccessful at clearing the exams.

Sharing their views on the situation, education experts like Umer Orakzai allude to the fact that the majority of Grade 9 students had flunked the science subjects.

“Excelling in such subjects requires students to practice exam questions in preparation for the exam. In government schools however, the teachers rarely prepare students for attempting the exam questions. No midterm exams are held in these schools and students are abruptly expected to ace their board exams,” gauged Orakzai, who encouraged the government to introduce a new pedagogical program, with a focus on training teachers.

Speaking to The Express Tribune on the matter, the Secretary Education Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Motasim Billah Shah said, “We have introduced a new learning system called the Students Learning Outcome (SLO) in government schools, with the aim of putting an end to the old rote learning system, which expected students to mindlessly cram information. Since Grade 9 students are fairly new to this system hence their results were the worst but hopefully they will adjust with time. We try our best to ensure 98 per cent attendance of teachers across the province, but the burden on teachers is very high, as only one teacher exists for more than 500 students. Therefore, there is a dire need for teachers and new classrooms in schools in order for the students to improve their performance and results under the testing criteria of the SLO system.”


Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2023.


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