New assessment criteria to remain in place: PM

The new assessment criteria was implemented in the mid of 2021

The new assessment criteria of the education ministry will not be changed and they will remain in place as to how it was implemented in order to improve the quality of education. 

This was divulged by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering during the Meet-The-Press session on December 31, 2021.

The new assessment criteria was implemented in the mid of 2021 and mandated students from class IV to XII to obtain a minimum of 40% in both Continuous Assessment (CA) and Written Examination to pass the examination.

According to the PM, many students have even failed the CA, which is disturbing and speaks volumes about the country’s education standard. There is a possibility that students will fail the written exam, but they have also failed the CA.

“However, it is preferable if they repeat in the same class,” Lyonchhen said, adding that in order to improve the quality of education, there should be a wholesome effort from everyone including the students.

Lyonchen added, “On the positive side, it is actually beneficial since we are laying a strong education foundation and this new criterion assessment is a part of it. Pass marks should also be increased to improve the education quality.”

The number of students failing from class IV to XII in schools across the country has doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

Many people are blaming the new assessment criteria for more students failing in 2021. Before students’ results were dependent on their combined CA and written marks, they could pass in either CA or written exam.

According to a teacher, most of the students failed because of the new curriculum system. It is very hard to pass both the written exam and CA.

“The announcement of the new criteria’s implementation came a little late, catching students unprepared,” she said.

She added that students didn’t have enough time to prepare for what was to come because the education ministry just implemented the new criteria in the middle of the academic year.

She added that it would have been better if they had started the new system during the new academic year.

Apart from the teachers, parents and students also have the same view on the issue.

A parent, Kinzang Dorji said the alteration that was announced and put into effect during the current academic session is unjust and callous.

“Everyone is aware that owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools were disrupted and students did not have access to a normal learning environment,” he said.

Another teacher said that teachers may have become overburdened when the number of students in a classroom with repeaters increased.

Curriculum Developer Wangpo Tenzin from the Royal Education Council (REC) said that as the National School Curriculum, formerly known as the new normal curriculum, was implemented, the assessment component had to change as well.

Meanwhile, some teachers mentioned that the education system is getting better with the NSC and it is becoming about ‘the survival of the fittest’. 

“It’s not only about the system, policies, or teachers. Students also play a bigger role by studying hard. They should also share equal responsibility for their own development,” said Tshering Choden, school teacher in Dagana.

However, while contacting the Department of School and Education, Business Bhutan was told that they are still in the process of gathering data and conducting analysis of the results from schools across the country.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu