Yangchen C Rinzin  

With an overall pass percentage of 90.63, the Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (BHSEC) result saw a decrease in the overall pass percentage this year by 0.92 percent compared to 2019.

The Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) declared the class XII results on April 10.

The overall pass percentage decreased for the first time in last five years.

The BHSEC 2019 examination recorded the highest pass percentage, 91.55 percent, in the last 14 years.

Although no studies were conducted, BCSEA officials said that the probable reason for the decrease could be attributed to less contact teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year during the result declaration.

A subject coordinator, Sherab Gyeltshen, said some students could have performed poor due to stress from the pandemic where classes were mostly conducted online and contact teaching was continued only from middle of the academic session.

He said they would conduct a pupil performance report, which provide definite reasons.

Sherig Lyonpo, Jai Bir Rai, who declared the result, said that he has asked BCSEA to see the reasons for the decrease in the overall pass percentage.

A total of 13,560 of the 13,701 registered students from 53 governments and 21 private schools appeared the exam in March.

A BSCEA official explained the decrease in the number of students who dropped before the exam has no direct link to the dropout due to pandemic.

He said students drop off before the exam for various reasons. “Every year, some students refuse to appear the exam because of pressure from parents when they feel the students might not perform well, personal wish, and when they are not confident to do the exam. We could not conduct any studies to find out if it was due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, despite disruption in the education owing to the pandemic, Science students topped the class XII board examination 2020 result with 97.66 percent candidates passing the examination. The pass percentage is 92.16 percent in Arts and 85.21 percent in Commerce.

Going by the subject-wise performance, with 74.67 mean percentage, students performed better in the Media Studies. Students performed worst in Computer Studies and Economies.

Kelden Ghalay, 17 from Damphu Central School topped the examination with 92.50 percent from Science stream.

He said he was waiting on his bed to check his result on social media when a family friend called him and told him he was the national topper.

“I knew I will score high marks but I didn’t expect to be the topper,” he said. “Many blamed pandemic but it depends on individual how one takes the situation. I took this as an opportunity to study hard.”

Kelden has not decided what course to take up but he is trying to find out how he can study astronomies. “I’m passionate but I couldn’t find any such course in Bhutan.”

Tshering Dekar from Rangjung Central School topped in the Commerce stream with 89.75 percent. “When the lockdown was declared, I took study for granted thinking government would do away with the exam, and I performed badly in the trial. I was on the verge of giving up, but my teacher and vice-principal had so much hope from me.  What I’ve achieved today was because of them.”

In Arts, Sonam Tshomo from Mothithang Higher Secondary School topped with 88 percent.

In the Language and Cultural Studies Certificate (LCSC), Lodray Jamtsho from Taktse Central School topped the examination with 83.5 percent. “Although I secure third positions in the class, this is the first time I’ve secured the first position in my life. I didn’t hope to top because of online classes but now I want to become either Drungtsho or study Law.”

A total of 325 students from one government and two private LCS schools appeared the exam. With a mean percentage of 71.60, students performed best in Driglam going by the subject-wise performance and lowest in English subject.