Ministry of Education Seeks Urgent Policy Interventions to Improve Student Performance


… 48,909 students obtained marks below 40% on the mid-term exam

Yangchen C Rinzin

About 46% of students in grades IV-XII scored below 40% on the 2021 midterm exams, according to the Ministry of Education’s consolidated midterm exam report.

According to the report, a total of 48,909 (IV-XII) students out of a total of 107,006 students failed their exams. Specifically, 25,599 male students and 23,310 female students scored below 40 percent. The Ministry’s Education Monitoring Division (EMD) conducted the survey to analyze student performance on midterm exams.

The largest percentage of the 48,909 students was from Thimthrom, where 6,874 students failed. Samtse and Mongar dzongkhags had 4,432 and 3,274 failing students, respectively.

The survey was conducted to complement the ministry’s recent decision to reform the assessment system. The ministry applied a revised evaluation structure from June of this year. The new assessment structure requires students to score at least 40 percent on both continuous assessments and written exams to qualify for promotion to a higher degree.

The new assessment system was launched to streamline and assess actual student learning. Following numerous concerns after the launch, the ministry conducted the investigation.

Data was collected from all public and private schools in grades IV-XII except six schools in Phuentsholing thromde, Chumithang middle secondary schools in Chukha and Gomtu upper secondary school in Samtse.

In the report, shared with all schools, the director general of the Ministry of School Education, Karma Galay, said that all stakeholders urgently need to develop intervention strategies to improve student performance.

“If a majority of students fail the annual exam, the result will be that an unmanageable number of students will repeat the same year in the next academic year, with enormous financial implications,” wrote the CEO.

The data revealed that Class IX had the highest number of students scoring less than 40 percent, at 7,212 students.

Students performed poorly in math and science, with 21,976 and 21,057 students in grades IV through VIII, respectively, failing in subjects.

A total of 18,818 pupils in grades IX-XII achieved results below 40 percent in mathematics and science subjects (eg chemistry, biology and physics).

EMD strongly recommends that all dzongkhags or thromde education offices consistently implement the revised assessment structure.

He recommends that: “Schools can also use the report to facilitate professional development programs and other support resources… Schools need to analyze student performance and develop intervention strategies to improve. “

Disciplinary strategies initiated in schools

Meanwhile, the EMD also looked at strategies launched by various schools to improve the performance of underachieving students, as well as disciplinary action.

Some of the initiatives include running weekly tests at the end of chapters and presenting an analysis of mid-term results to teachers, parents and students.

Some schools reported that subject teachers identified the poorest performing students and provided remedial classes after school, including bridging classes, especially for grades IV-VI where the school remained closed. throughout the school year.

Many schools have also initiated peer-assisted learning, or pairing lower performing students with higher performing students.

To improve discipline, many principals have said they have started initiatives like the home group, where small groups of students receive specialized care from designated home group parents.

Many schools also hold a principal-child conference with students who have disciplinary issues. Students identified as having critical problems are referred to school counselors.

A common strategy found in many schools was to organize discipline committee-children conferences and discipline committee-parent conferences.

“Each classroom teacher maintains a behavioral log to document behavioral problems in individual students,” the review found. “They also revisited school disciplinary policies that emphasize the teaching of traditional codes of etiquette, Za Cha Dro Sum and Driglam Namzha, in schools.”

During the survey, schools were asked to submit information through Google Sheets by September. Over 50 percent of the data submitted was verified by phone calls prior to analysis.

Edited by Tshering Palden

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