Dzongkha paper made the difference

Yangchen C Rinzin

Aggregate marks of Dzongkha II and I are taken to compute the pass percentage of students finishing Class X and deciding toppers of the Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Examination (BCSE).

Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA) on January 18 declared Namita Giri of Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School (MSS) as the national topper with 93 percent.

However, the result was questioned on social media after Changangkha MSS shared the school’s 10 top performers of Class X 2019 result on social media on January 24. The school’s top performer, Kanchan Kumari scored 93.4 percent.

Many questioned the BCSEA in social media accusing them of making mistakes. The school also wrote to the BCSEA seeking clarification. The school is still waiting for the response from the BCSEA.

BCSEA officials told Kuensel that while Kanchan Kumari scored 93.4 percent, the score was including Hindi, the second subject she took and an Indian national.

The official explained that when they calculate marks, they take the average score of Dzongkha I and II for Bhutanese students while for non-Bhutanese students, the full mark they scored for the subject is taken.

For instance, if a Bhutanese student scores 60 in Dzongkha I and 65 in Dzongkha II, the average mark is considered as a final score. If a non-Bhutanese student scores 95 in Hindi or Bengali, it is the final score.

Kanchan Kumari scored 467 with English and four other best subjects including Hindi, which comes to 93.4 percent, however, if Hindi is excluded, it comes to 92.4 percent.

Namita Giri scored 465 with English and best four subjects excluding Dzongkha scoring 93 percent.

“Having discussed the issue, it was decided to declare Bhutanese student as the topper because it’s only fair, as Bhutanese students have to compulsorily pass the second subject, Dzongkha.”

An official said that central marking of an answering script of each subject is preceded by standardisation of the model answers and marking scheme. “One teacher can correct only about 3-5 marks worth of questions. So, it’s very fair.”

However, for the non-Bhutanese students, BCSEA gets foreign second language question papers developed by individual setters recommended by the Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations.

For foreign students, the same person who sets the question paper evaluates the paper.

“So, the declaration was decided based on a fair manner.”