Karachi: The Sindh government’s fact-finding committee has recommended giving grace marks to the affected students of Inter first year. The committee stated the reasons for the failure of students while recommending grace marks to Karachi Board’s affected students. According to the findings, the responsibility for the decrease in results or the increase in the number of failed students lies with the board as well as the Sindh Education Ministry.
The determination of how many grace marks can be given according to the committee’s recommendation will be made at the direction of the Chief Minister of Sindh. Furthermore, in the results of 2023, three main reasons for a large number of students failing have been identified, including changes in the syllabus resulting in unavailability of textbooks, delays in the marking scheme announcement, reducing multiple choice questions and strict marking by examiners.
It is important to note that the Inter first year results were announced on January 9th. The pass rates for pre-medical and pre-engineering exams were 34 to 36 percent, which were 8 to 10 percent lower compared to the previous year, leading to protests by students. On the instructions of the Chief Minister of Sindh, a fact-finding committee was formed on February 3rd, headed by the Vice Chancellor of NED University, Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodi.
The committee conducted continuous investigations for a week, including interviews with 28 individuals such as board officials, head examiners, examiners, and paper setters, as well as scrutinizing around 300 exam copies, after which the committee prepared its report. It is reported that the committee has concluded that a certain number of students have been affected due to at least three or more reasons, and have recommended giving separate grace marks in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Botany, Mathematics, and Statistics, ranging from 0 marks to an extremely high level. However, the determination of how many grace marks should be given has been left to the direction of the Chief Minister.
In accordance with sources, this may allow a specific number of students to pass and improve the grades of some students. The committee has firmly stated that one of the most important and key reasons for the decrease in the results or a large number of students failing is the unavailability of textbooks according to the changed syllabus since the beginning of the session or thereafter. Furthermore, it was revealed that the inclusion of extremely difficult titles in science subjects after changes in the syllabus has also caused a lack of harmony among students.
Another significant reason that emerged is that the marking was extremely strict and while there was a capacity to give 4 marks, only 2 marks were given. Additionally, the announcement of the paper pattern was excessively delayed, and as a result, the MCQs percentage in the new pattern was reduced from 40% to 20%, which was a first after COVID, and the reduction in the MCQ portion also had an impact on the students’ marking. The decision to maintain a uniform paper pattern in all boards is made in the Education Department’s Steering Committee, which was delayed considerably.
It is important to note that after completing the research and including relevant points in the report, the matter has now reached the Sindh government’s court, and the reasons for the decrease in the proportion of results are directly related to the Education Board, more than the Education Ministry, and ultimately, the Sindh Education Department is responsible for this crisis.