Question paper leakage in public examinations had become a concerning issue for the government because not only it lead to inappropriate evaluation, poor quality of education and unjust competition, it also tarnished the image of the entire education system. It also became difficult to identify which students followed unfair practices to pass and which students did not. However, the numerous measures taken by concerned authorities to counter these problems have started showing their positive impact as this year the HSC examination results seem realistic and just.
The recent HSC examination results are a reflection of the government’s efforts to reduce cheating and question paper leakage in order to establish a standard of quality and not quantity based education for our students. Teachers and educationists view the overall passing rate of 66.64 percent as a success which happened due to better exam management which included improved exam methods, modification in question papers and stricter exam hall rules.
All the boards have attained a passing rate greater than 60 percent. The top institutions in the capital such as Notre Dame College, Adamjee Cantonment College, Rajuk Uttara Model College, Holy Cross and Viqarunnisa College have all maintained their past success rates.
The changed exam methods included checking the answer scripts according to a model answer script created earlier which lead to a more correct evaluation. Previously, right before the exams began, the MCQs would get leaked and students would easily have access to them. This year, to prevent leakage of the questions, students were asked to be seated at the exam halls 30 minutes earlier.
This year, some of the larger examination centres presented the students with different sets of question papers and so unfair practices such as cheating were strictly prohibited. As a result, those who were not well prepared performed poorly.
Female students have performed better than their male counterparts. The passing rate of female students is 69.72 percent while the passing rate of male students is 63.88 percent. Last year too, the female students had a higher passing rate.
Earlier in June, in an interview with Bangladesh Post, Dr Nazma Begum, former Chairman, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, had stated the importance of quality education. She said that in order for a nation to be developed, it has to have quality education. Dr Nazma further emphasized on the need for quality teachers and quality infrastructure in order to ensure quality education. The government can take further steps to ensure that students themselves become motivated to not use unfair practices and become better individuals. The textbooks could be made more informative and creative so that students learn to think beyond the box. Moreover, students could be taught some basic skills so that will help them once they step into the competitive world.
Teachers should make sure that the students engage more inside the classrooms and do not depend on coaching centres after school hours. In this regard, Hasan Mohammad, Associate professor, Adamjee Cantonment College said to Bangladesh Post, “We have taken special care of the students, especially the weaker ones. After the test exams, we selected the weaker students and divided them into five-member groups. Each group was monitored by a teacher who guided them for the actual exam.”
He further stated, “We did not hear about any question leakage this year and the board also gave us strict instructions to carefully mark the papers so that the students obtain the marks that they truly deserve. I think this year’s result will have a good impact on the future candidates who will now focus more on studying.”
Teachers should also let the students focus on extra-curricular activities so that their physical as well as mental health stays balanced. Schools should also have proper libraries, gymnasiums and playgrounds.
Children learn from adults and their environment and as responsible adults, we need to raise them in the most appropriate ways so that their future leads to higher economic as well as social growth of our country. Therefore, parents and children who could not score GPA 5 should not be disheartened, what will matter in the long run is what kind of ideal life they can build around themselves and that will depend on the quality of the education that they receive.
The writer is Editorial Assistant, Bangladesh Post