While there was a sharp rise in the number of students who enrolled for O’Level examinations in 2011, there was a shocking drop in the pass rate especially in the number of those who passed with Division 1. Whereas in 2010, 21.73 percent of those who sat for the O’Level national examinations got Division 1, 10.3 percent were in Division 1 in 2011.
A big drop of a remarkable percentage of 11.43 percent was registered.
Naturally, the first question that one can ask is; what was wrong last year? An excuse will certainly be quickly available. To some, it could be that the exams were very hard if not harder. This is a rather obvious response but we ought to go beyond the obvious and familiar to unearth the problem.
Worse still, the momentum that girls seemed to have gained in last year’s performance when they thrashed boys to dominate the top ten positions seemed to have been slowed down as boys struck a clear balance by garnering 5 out of the 10 top slots in the country.
In my analysis of the examinations of 2011, I indicated that standards were going up in terms of setting the exams. This, indeed, is true if this year’s performance is anything to go by. The demands of the examinations were higher than it has been before.
The fact that the performance dwindled this year, could also be an indicator that many students are not yet very ready for the Anglophone system of education. This is why, I guess, traditionally Francophone schools that have been dominating the top positions nationally either dropped or went out of the picture.
The government has done its part in training and recruiting expatriates to handle the Anglophone curricula. The ball is in the schools’ court now. Learning English has to be emphasized and the students have to be well oriented.
As the going gets tough, the tough should get going. So, all students, alike, should not give up. Let those who are poor in English fight harder. It is said it is most dark when it is about dawn. It will get better.
All in all, good progress has been made in the exams body’s systems and more can be done.