The Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (BHSEC) examination 2017 recorded the worst performance in Business mathematics and economics.

According to Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA), the mean score for Business mathematics was 47.69 percent and 49.95 percent for economics. The mean score for the remaining 17 subjects is above 50 percent.

The highest mean score is in Agriculture subject with 75.35 percent, Media studies with 71.46 percent and Dzongkha Rizhung with 69.92 percent. Mean scores measure the quality of performance.

BCSEA Secretary Tenzin Dorji at the press conference yesterday said that this is based on subject-wise performance and that data analysis has not yet been done.

“Besides the pass percentage, how many have failed or passed and why are analysed  a little later,” he said. “This year we are happy to report that we are trying to make actual data analysis more user friendly and data would be posted online once it is ready.”

The secretary said that BCSEA would have to also see how other students have performed and that having a topper doesn’t necessarily mean that all students from that school did well.

Science students had a pass percentage of 95.55 percent while pass percentage was 88.04 percent for Commerce students and 91.58 percent in Arts.

A total of 116 from the 2,605 who appeared the examination failed in Science while in the other two streams, the number increased by almost four times with 363 of the 4,312 failing in Arts and 386 of the 3,228 failing in Commerce.

However, the overall pass percentage is 91.47 percent, an increase of 6.65 percent from 84.82 percent in 2016. The last time BCSEA recorded an overall pass percentage of more than 90 percent was in 2006 after which the pass percentage has remained above 80 percent.

The secretary said that although BCSEA had focused more on competency based assessment and testing of higher order question, which is more analytical, the students performed well. He also attributed the increase in pass percentage to introduction of PISA-D and transformative pedagogy for the teachers that prepared children better.

“This is the only assumption I can make from having a good overall pass percentage,” he said.

A total of 10,279 candidates from 58 Higher Secondary Schools (39 government and 19 private schools) registered of which 10,145 appeared the examination.  5,162 were male and 4,983 were female.

Of the 9,280 candidates who passed the examination, 4,613 were female.

Of the 390 students from Taktse HSS, Kuenphen Language and Cultural Training Institute, Design high school, and Dzongkha Development Training Institute who sat for the examination, 89.23 percent passed.

More than 80 percent of the students performed well in the Luzhey-Nencha in the overall subject wise performance but their mean score in English was 45.61 percent.

Students can access their statement of marks from the BCSEA website, or B-mobile users can SMS R12 (space) index number and send to 3333 and Tashi Cell users can text index numbers to 4040.

Students have until February 4, starting today to apply for paper rechecks. The applications can be submitted on-line and payments could be made through G2C services or by visiting BCSEA. The result will be announced on February 9.

Candidates can collect their mark sheets and pass certificates from their respective schools by the third week of February.  The BCSEA office would not issue them.

Meanwhile, Secretary Tenzin Dorji said that BCSEA would analyse the data of the last five years’ performance to generate details on which school has performed well in which subject with details of the principal and subject teachers.

The Secretary added that BCSEA is also working on coming up with an online verification of the students’ results. BCSEA plans to do this by opening a portal where any agency can validate the results by punching in the index number.

“We’ve also made the re-check easier with introduction of bar code system where we have all the students’ answer sheet scanned and uploaded on the website,” he said. “Now we can just punch in the index number with the subject code and access the answer sheet for re-check.”

Yangchen C Rinzin