Government lifts subject limits for supplementary exams

2019-07-24

The Kathmandu Post


KATHMANDU : Following a poor show of the examinees in the recent Secondary Education Examinations, the government has decided to allow the students who got a ‘C’ or lower grades in any number of subjects to take the supplementary tests to improve their grades.

In the past, only those who had ‘D+’ or lower grades in a maximum of two subjects were eligible for a second chance. 

The government, while adopting the letter grading for the evaluation four years ago, had announced that no students irrespective of their grades would be barred from higher studies. However, in practice, the students scoring less than 1.6 GPA and lower than ‘C’ grades in major subjects aren’t enrolled by schools.

Vishnu Prasad Adhikari, examination controller, said though the Office of the Controller of Examinations was preparing for the exams of just two subjects, it had to revise the earlier decision at the directive of the Ministry of Education. 

The exams that were slated to be held on August 11 and 12 have been rescheduled to commence on August 18 with the new decision.

Adhikari said 360,600 students, who had got a ‘C’ or lower grades in at least one subject are eligible for the tests. 

This comprises 78.5 percent of 459,275 students who sat the regular exams. “It is like conducting another regular examination,” Adhikari told the Post. He however, said they are expecting that all the eligible students will not be taking the examinations.

The students willing to take the test for the second time will have to submit their forms by Friday. The exact number of the examinees will be known only after the forms are received. 

Educationists say allowing students to take any number of tests is against the very concept of the supplementary exams. “It is wrong to expect students to perform better in all the subjects in the span of a few weeks,” Binay Kusiyat, a professor at Tribhuvan University who has conducted several research on school education, told the Post. 

The results of the grade 10 national board examinations held in March were published on June 27. The students who fared poorly in the exams will be getting 45 days to prepare for the second chance from the day of the result publication.

Kusiyat said the move is solely aimed at showing the improved results which was disappointing in the regular examinations. Though the students from private schools performed better, those from the public schools had fared poorly. Of the 325,330 students who took the SEE exams from public schools, only 2,792 (0.8 percent) scored GPA above 3.60, while 14,788 students (11 percent) of 133,945 students from the private schools were able to secure GPA above 3.60.

Similarly, 11,233 students (3.45 percent) who attended the SEE representing public schools got GPAs that ranged from 3.20 to 3.60; in comparison to that 39,914 students (29.7 percent) from the private schools were able to secure the same grades.

According to the data provided by the board, a significant number of students from public schools have cleared the SEE securing significantly lower grades in comparison to their peers in private schools. For example, 278,276 students (85.5 percent) from public schools have scored less than 2.80 GPA. 

The percentage of students securing GPA below 2.8 is much less in private schools, which is only 40,072 students (29 percent).