Thursday brought an end to the anxious wait of 137, 968 Matric science group students who sat thier exams in April this year. Around 72 per cent of the students celebrated success when the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) announced the results.
Though the boys managed to keep last year’s trend alive by bagging the first two positions, girls outshone their male counterparts by securing twice as many A-1 grades - the highest attainable letter grade.
To honour the top three position holders, a ceremony, presided over by BSEK chairperson Fasihuddin Khan, was organised by the board at its conference hall. The celebrations, however, were marred by impatient journalists, who wanted to get result-related information before it was announced. In pursuit of discharging their ‘professional responsibilities’, they pushed and shoved each other in the overcrowded hall to speak to the BSEK controller of examinations, Noman Ahsan.
The BSEK chairperson finally announced the names of students who topped the exams. Ammar Sarmad Khan of Usman Public School bagged the top position by securing 791 marks out of a total of 850. Talking to The Express Tribune, he said that the matriculation system needed improvement in its ability to gauge the analytical skills of students. He explained that he tried his best to avoid rote learning.
Syed Muhammad Usman Ali of Waves Grammar Secondary School clinched the second position with 790 marks (92.94%). “The BSEK should get rid of the guess paper culture as the rotation of questions every five years makes it easy for students to guess most of the paper,” he said.
The BSEK chairperson agreed that the repetition of questions had been hurting the exams credibility for many years, adding that efforts for the last couple of years aimed to improve this matter.
Ali credited his achievement to the efforts of his school, but like most of the BSEK students, admitted to having taken tuitions for what he called “assistance and personal satisfaction.”
The administrator of his tuition centre - Merit n Merit, Wajih Ahmed Zakai, told The Express Tribune that they did not compromise on discipline and character building of the students. For this reason, Usman was the fourth student of the coaching centre to have held a position since the centre’s inception in 2005, he added. “Though the primary responsibility of imparting education lies on schools, most institutions leave a gap in the learning experience,” said Zakai. “Even the level of commitment of teachers is low at schools as compared to the tuition centres.”
The third position was tied between Daniya Ali of Karachi Public School (KPS) and Karishma Kumari of the Defence Authority Model Girls School. Both the girls did not feel the need to take tuitions to prepare for the exams and managed to obtain 789 marks (92.82%).
KPS Principal Akhter Maruf, who has been with the school since it started in 1982, said that the BSEK should not restrict students to a single book, adding that making papers more analytical in style was the need of the hour for the board to become competitive with the Cambridge International Examinations and Aga Khan University Examination Board.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.
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