Even two days after the SLC results were published, students are still in a dilemma as to who are eligible for further studies and who are not, all thanks to the Ministry of Education which has failed to demystify the much-talked about letter grading system.
The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) has laid down two criteria for students to pursue further studies. A student with a minimum of 1.6 Grade Point Average (GPA) and minimum D+ in at least one of the prescribed subjects—including English-is, according to the HSEB, eligible for getting enrolment in one of the 12 categories of higher secondary schooling prescribed by the government.
The results published on Thursday show out of 588,152 students who took the SLC examination under regular and exempted categories, 482,998 students scored GPA above 1.6. But in reality, all of them are not eligible for studying Grade 11, as they have to secure “D+” grade in one of the subjects prescribed by the HSEB.
Ajay Sharma, who appeared in the SLC exam from Saraswati Higher Secondary School in Dang, has scored 1.7 GPA but has “D” in English.
Though he has secured more than the required grade for “further studies”, he does not have “D+” in English to get himself enrolled in Grade 11.
“This is too complex to understand,” he told the Post over phone.
Now he is left with two options. Either he can take supplementary exam or opt for technical/ vocational education, which according to the HSEB is “further studies”.
Sharma is just a case in point, as there are other 157,184 students who have failed to obtain “D+” in English.
“The two criteria have indeed given rise to some confusion. Students will, however, understand it gradually,” said Hari Lamsal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education. According to Lamsal, since this is the first time results were published under Letter Grading System, it is natural for teachers, parents and schools operators to get confused.
The Office of the Controller of Examinations on Thursday published SLC results with nine grades and 4 as maximum GPA.
Bidhya Nath Koirala, an education expert, blamed the government for creating all this confusion.
“Earlier, the government claimed that no one would fail in the SLC exam. Now hundreds of students have been disqualified from studying Grade 11,” said Koirala. “Whatever the government has done with the SLC results in the name of reform is nothing but a cosmetic change, as it has failed to bring about any substantial changes in the overall evaluation process,” added Koirala.
Experts have also described the government’s decision to prescribe subjects for students they can study based on their performance as “ludicrous”.
Source: The article was originally published in The Kathmandu Post on 19th June, 2016