Looking at Chin State Education through 2015 metric exam result

Looking at Chin State Education through 2015 metric exam result This year, the state sees more than double rise in metric exam pass rate from 8.7 per cent of last year to 17. 84 percent, more than 9 percent rise. It is an encouraging rise, but the fact remains that the percentage still stands at the bottom of the table of nationwide result. The whole country’s pass rate is 37. 60 per cent. For Chin State to reach this medium level, about twice the number of those who passed the exam would have needed to pass it as well. It is, therefore, very important for Chin State to climb up at least to the average level, if not the upper level of the nation’s education standard for the state’s hope for development rest solely on education. As is known, unlike its sister states in Myanmar, Chin State has nothing else to rely on for its development except education.

So, it is very important for the state to uplift the education standard. For this, it would be a must to delve deep into the situation of the education, more specifically, the causes that make the pass rate low. Upon the increase in the pass rate of this year, Dr. Ba Maung, Chin State social minister, said that the competition among school had made the percentage rise. Yes, creating of environment in which schools competes each other for higher results is a good one. It is, however, by no means a complete set to boost the education. Factors like teaching staff quality, conditions of class room, teaching material and the likes will also play essential roles in promoting the education.

Of the several causes that yearly drags the students down below the pass line, this article would like to emphasize one serious issue – English subject. Almost every year, what most students complain about the exam is English which they find difficult – very difficult. If this subject get a boost in teaching, the notorious matriculation exam result of Chin State will surely be higher – may be double. If the concerned state minister spare a little time to give a look at some mark results of those who fail in the exam, he will surely see that this subject makes up the largest proportion of the failure in subjects. The reason is very simple – students have no adequate knowledge of the subject.

In fact, English, if taught systematically from basic classes, is a very easy subject to pass. But the teachers themselves who teach English are not good at English. Many students have a mindset that they would try the hardest when they reach 11th grade and miss very important basic grammar lessons which, if taught by qualified teachers and learnt properly in every grade, will turn out to be a very easy subject in the final grade of basic state school. English and other subjects that entail numerical calculations necessitate students having adequate basic knowledge before they reach their final grade. That means students need to be taught systematically and properly from their basic classes. When compared to these subjects, social science subjects like History, Geography and Economics as well as Myanmarsar which are taught in Burmese can be passed if students have a strong reading background in their respective grades. But it is sad that many students in villages in their middle grades cannot even spell Burmese letters correctly. This has causal effect on school dropping among students from villages as they move up higher grades.

If the state government makes a deep investigation into the reasons of why metric exam pass rate in the state is annually low, it will clearly see the issues mentioned above and other factors as well. The state government, now with a measure of freedom to act on its own, can develop and run projects that would bolster education in the state. It should give special emphasis on upgrading teachers’ quality, especially on mastering their respective subjects.

The statistics also show one more very important point that the gap between the lowest and the highest pass rate within Chin State itself is wide, with Paletwa Tsp 7.37 per cent and Hakha 25.54 per cent, a gap of nearly 20 percent. There are some townships which usually lie at low status – Paletwa, Thantlang and Tonzang townships. It is also noteworthy that the pass rates of sub-towns are always disappointingly low. This speaks of the need for more provisions to sub-towns. The government should also take initiatives to make the pass rate more balanced. Dr. Ba Maung added to his remarks on the increase in pass rate, saying that more schools should be opened for more competition. This is a good idea but this will work only to some extent. What is most important, among many others, is promoting teachers’ quality and ethics.

The state should round up all the information on education from grassroots level, analyze them and develop a sound policy that would surely advance the education cause. It should also try to engage with other actors who could provide it with valuable advice and support to the cause. The state should spare no more time to engage in a new cause that would address its chronic problem of always staying at the lowest in education in the country BY Kham Tin Thang