In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all public sector schools have released annual results for grades one to eight, with a 100% pass rate. All of the kids were promoted to the following classes in accordance with a policy that had been in place for years.
The policy of student promotion was implemented during the Awami National Party (ANP)-led coalition administration to ‘discourage’ the trend of students dropping out, and it is still in effect.
“From class one to class five, all children were passed with only 5 to 8% marks, while pupils in classes six to eight were passed with only 15 to 18 percent marks, as opposed to the conventional criterion of 33 percent,” an education department official told The Express Tribune.
He claimed that for the past 16 years, the “useless policy” has been in existence, according to which no student can be failed, regardless of how poorly he or she does on the examinations.
“It was adopted after it was realized that kids who do not pass their annual exams, as well as their parents, are disheartened, and they simply drop out of school,” he said, adding that the policy has received widespread criticism but has not been modified.
“High schools frequently lament the fact that they are enrolling children in sixth grade who are unable to write their own names. “However, the ANP government implemented this strategy to ‘raise literacy rates,'” he explained.
Many teachers are outspoken in their opposition to the policy, according to the official, but they can’t do anything because policies are made in the corridors of power without the input of other stakeholders.
High schools are required by law to enroll all pupils from elementary schools, regardless of their qualifications. Such students, according to school teachers, are frequently a hardship.
“This strategy should be reversed because it has been tried and tested for the previous 16 years and clearly failed,” the official said, adding that board exams for grades five and eight should be reinstated.