Friday, August 18, 2017

National exam pass rate plummets to below 32%

Barely one-third of Mandalay high school students – and even less in Yangon – managed to pass their final exams, as pass rates slumped nationally.

Mandalay students look for their matriculation exam results at Basic Education High School 1 Aung Myay Thar San on June 7. (Si Thu Lwin/The Myanmar Times)Mandalay students look for their matriculation exam results at Basic Education High School 1 Aung Myay Thar San on June 7. (Si Thu Lwin/The Myanmar Times)

The national pass rate for the matriculation exams was 31.76 percent, well down on last year’s pass rate of 34.33pc.

Best performer was Mon State which, for the sixth year running, had the highest percentage of students passing the exam, at 50.52pc.

“The declining pass rate this year sorted out the talented students. Students who studied hard passed. Students who did not will have to retake the exams. The exam results have identified the students with ability,” said a senior education ministry official, who asked not to be named.

In the 2013-14 academic year, about 540,000 students sat examinations, of whom only about 170,000 passed. Other than Mon State, most states and regions revealed a decline. The second highest pass percentage was in Mandalay Region, where 34.4pc passed, while in Yangon Region the pass rate was about 30.34 percent.

Students and parents speculated that the declining pass rate was the result of changes to the ministry’s policies, but officials denied any change.

“My daughter was hoping to receive three distinctions, but she was not on the list. I don’t know how they set the criteria. But there are a lot of people who didn’t do as well as they hoped. Our whole family is sad because of this,” said Daw Mar Lar, the mother of a female student in Yankin.

Results were released nationally on June 7.