In a recent report, it has come to light that 51% of 9th-grade students of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) failed to clear the previous board examinations.
Officials have blamed the change in the examination format from rote learning to student learning outcome (SLO) or conceptual learning for the high failure rate.
It is worth mentioning that the government has earmarked a budget of Rs. 300 billion for the education department for the current year. Out of the 269,367 students of government schools across the province, only 49% managed to pass the exam.
The students of private schools performed much better than the government schools, with a passing percentage of 74%.
Officials of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar told a local media outlet that the previous papers were composed based on rote learning. Following the provincial government’s decision, boards were required to compose 50% of papers based on conceptual learning.
According to the officials, upcoming examinations for both 9th and 10th grades would be based on SLO.
The head of one of the education boards criticized the government for changing the paper pattern in the middle of the academic session. Furthermore, a headmaster of a government school lauded the decision, stating that conceptual learning methodology was much better for students.
He also pointed out the incompetence of most of the teaching staff, adding that they won’t be able to clear the concept of their students about a topic. According to him, the majority of the teachers promoted from the ranks of primary school teachers (PST), drawing masters (DM), and Arabic teachers (AT) will not be able to pass the subjects they teach to their students if they appear in the examination on the basis of SLO.
He believes that those teachers who were recruited through the test agencies and public service commission had no problem teaching their subjects with clarity.
Moreover, another government teacher blamed the overcrowded schools for the higher failure rate. He said that “conceptual learning is impossible in highly overcrowded classrooms.”