Public schools continue to disappoint for the nineteenth successive year as the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) announced Matric results on Friday.
The Government Delhi Boys Secondary School won top position in 1995 but since then, no public school has been able to bag the top position.
The day otherwise brought an end to the anxious wait of 160,679 Matric science and general group students who sat their exams in April this year. Around 70 per cent of the science group students and 55.1 per cent of the general group students passed the exams as the BSEK, for the first time in its history, announced the results for both groups on the same day.
To honour the top three position holders, a ceremony was organised by the board at its conference hall, which was presided over by BSEK chairperson Fasihuddin Khan.
"The results speak volumes about the appalling standards in government-run schools," said BSEK examinations controller Noman Ahsan. "It is a deplorable fact that public schools fail to perform well despite increased government grants and the high salaries received by public school teachers."
Girls continued to outshine their male counterparts by securing twice as many 'A-1s'- the highest attainable grade, awarded to those who score 80 per cent or higher - as well as the top two positions.
Marwa Tanveer, a student of Usman Public School, was awarded top position with 93.6 per cent, or 796 marks out of a total of 850. The second position was shared by Mahnoor Rehman of the Usman Public School and Muhammad Anas Ghani of the Metropolitan Academy, both of whom secured 92.9 per cent, or 789 marks. Saad Khalid of the Kulsoom Bai Valika Civil Aviation Authority Model School bagged third position with 92.3 per cent, or 785 marks.
According to the statistics released by the examination controller, around 69.7 per cent of the total 135,031 students who sat the exams have passed. However, this is a two per cent decrease from last year's total overall pass percentage.
As many as 8,703 students, 9.2 per cent, got through with an 'A-1' grade while around 23.8 per cent obtained the 'A' grade, followed by 31.7 per cent and 25.7 per cent securing 'B' and 'C' grades, respectively. Another 9.1 per cent managed to scrape a 'D'.
The examinations controller said that the marks certificates will be issued to the schools within a 15-day period.
Of the general group, only 206 students passed the exam with an 'A-1' grade, out of a total 26,245 students who sat the exams.
Asna Siddiqui won first position with 92.2 per cent, followed by Lubaba Mustaqim (91.7 per cent and Hania Waqas (90.1 per cent). All three students belonged to the Iqra Huffaz Girls Secondary School, located in North Nazimabad.
The BSEK also announced the results of around 116 special candidates who appeared in the Secondary School Certificate Part II exams this year, out of which around 90.5 per cent passed.
The first and the third positions were won by the Dewa Academy for the Deaf, located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, with Muhammad Ahmed Khan and Irtisam Babar Khan securing 87.6 per cent and 84.7 per cent marks, respectively. Benish of the Anjuman Behbood-e-Samat-e-Atfal School got second position by obtaining 85.7 per cent marks.
The position holders were of the view that the BSEK should now break the 'guess papers' culture as repetition of exam questions after every couple of years makes it easy for the students to guess most of the paper. Nasim Siddiqui, administrator of the chain of Usman Public Schools agreed, saying that the BSEK restricts the students to one book, while papers need to be more analytical to make the board competitive with private education boards.
BSEK chairperson Fasihuddin conceded that the issue of repetition of exam questions does affect the quality of the exams but claimed that the BSEK has been improving on it for the last couple of years.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.