With a 4 percent increase in the pass rate, 47.43 percent of examinees have made it through the SLC this year.
Out of the total of 405,338 students who appeared under the regular category, 192,267 made it through, according to the controller of examinations. Only 43.92 percent had passed the board exam last year.
Though girls appearing for the exam outnumbered boys, fewer girls passed. There is a huge gap of 13 percent between the pass rates for boys and girls. Altogether 203, 175 girls had appeared as against 202,163 boys. The pass percentage for boys is 53.94.
“Girls feel controlled in many ways as compared to boys. Due to safety concerns and other considerations, they are treated differently by parents. This somehow is reflects in their academic performance as well. And the more they are aware of their vulnerability, the more they tend to become distracted from their studies,” Karki said.
This line of argument is certainly not without merit. The rape of girls while on their way to SLC exam centers and back has not ceased to make headlines each year. “A single such case is enough to have a psychological impact upon the girls of that entire community,” Karki added.
Another adverse social tendency is to overburden girls who are growing up with various responsibilities, pressure to prioritize household chores also hampers their academic performance. Society’s tendency to see women and girls in a more conventional role regardless of the aspirations of the girls themselves is reflected in the huge gap between the number of girls who appeared in the SLC and the numbers that passed, Karki noted.
Creating a safer and more free environment for girls with a guarantee of sufficient time for studies and exam preparations would help, Karki added.
Among the students who passed the SLC this time, 21,247 have received distinction marks whereas 90,176 passed in first division. Likewise, 76,482 passed in second division and 4,362 had to be satisfied with third division.
As many as 18,260 students passed thanks to the 5 grace marks given to students who would have failed for lack of just 5 marks or less.
The examination papers of 612 examinees were cancelled and the results of 1,199 examinees have been withheld.
Similarly, 9,200 students dropped out of the exams despite having submitted the exam forms. Altogether 83 students were expelled for misconduct and cheating in the exams, the Office of the Controller of Examinations stated. Among the exempted students (i.e. those who failed in previous years), only 13.80 percent have passed.
Meanwhile, Examination Controller Bishnu Bahadur Dware has claimed that only deserving students have made it through the exam this year, thanks to the maintenance of better discipline.
Supplementary exams for students who have failed in one or two subjects have been scheduled for August 5 to 12.
Community school performance improves, bucking four-year trend
The performance of community schools in the SLC has shown an improvement, bucking a four-year trend. The pass rate at such schools has climbed to 33.92 percent from last year’s 28.19 percent.
Meanwhile, the performance of private schools has dipped by 4 percent to 89.30 from 93.25 percent last year.
Addressing the press, Education Secretary Bishow Prakash Pandit took pride in the improved performance of public schools, claiming that the trend would only get better from now onwards.
“It is mainly teachers who are responsible for good results or bad results, and they seem to have realized that now,” Pandit said.
He feels that more and more community schools adopting English as the medium of instruction is also to be credited for the enhanced performance.
However, educationist Karki says that the SLC results also depend upon certain other circumstances.
These children who appeared in SLC this time were enrolled in school in 2005/06. “They had a better environment in schools and in society, which is reflected in the improving trend of the last two years,” according to Karki.
But with more than half the students failing the exam, there is no reason to be satisfied yet, he added.
Trends of SLC results: