The most recent decision of public sector schools to promote students who received as low as 10% in the annual exams serves as further proof that the quality of education in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has been steadily declining for more than a decade.
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The PTI government in K-P has adopted a policy of passing students with only 10% marks in its public schools, ostensibly to lower the dropout rate, even though the typical passing grade in Pakistan is 33 percent.
But education authorities and concerned citizens have criticized this action as a rash decision that lowers educational standards and results.
Government schools released the grades for classes 1 through 8 on March 31. To encourage students, the government had already given the district education officers the directive to keep the proportion of failed students to a minimum.
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An official claimed that district education officers (EDO) convened meetings with school administrators to inform them of a rule that permits students to pass with just 10% of the total marks (50 out of 500). As it implies lowering academic standards, this is a troubling illustration of the province’s failing educational system.
Most Peshawar’s students who passed with such poor grades were from rural areas, underscoring the necessity of investing in and providing targeted support for these communities.
The policy was developed behind closed doors by ministers and bureaucrats without taking into account the opinions of all stakeholders, despite the fact that teachers have been opposed to it since the beginning. As a result, many teachers believe that students who enroll in high school without the necessary prerequisites may be a burden.
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This policy, which has been tried and tested for the past 16 years without success, must be reevaluated by the government. To make sure that students entering sixth grade have the skills necessary to succeed, high schools should be permitted to administer qualification exams. To provide a more accurate indicator of a student’s progress and guarantee that they are suitably prepared for higher education, the government should also reinstate board exams for grades five and eight.