Would you hire a cook who says that he/she would half-cook 65% of the food-list given in the menu and would only present 35% of the menu list completely cooked and well garnished? Would you agree to be treated by a doctor whose success record is a mere 35%-45% and the failure record is much higher than 55%-65%? If your answer is a clear NO then why do you agree to the educational system that allows your child to fail in 65% of his/her curriculum and is promoted with 35% to the next standard?
Isn’t this pass-percentage inappropriate? Does it help to pass with 35% marks? Do any of the good schools or colleges or universities approve a child in their admission procedure with such low grades? If not, then why are we submissive to an educational system that allows your child to fail in 65% of the total marks? Doesn’t this lead to create a group of inappropriate, dull, un-placed, non-admissive and down-looked students? Then, how helpful is this educational system in educating your child?
What should be done in such a scenario? Should every child be pushed to attain a 90% or should students be allowed to get away with 35% marks which would take them not far? Not every child is the same, this is a fact and the educational system should be constructed in a manner that allows the development of one and all. If students are allowed to pass with 35% marks then those students should be given equal opportunities to get admitted in colleges and universities that are considered to be one of the best. But, if the criterion for admission to such colleges and universities does not allow students with 35% marks then we need a balanced criterion that can replace perverse pass-percentages.
Do uniform targets/pass-percentages help to improve schooling outcomes? If no child is the same then how can we aim for uniformity in targets/pass-percentages? It is obvious that some would fail to achieve what the brighter students can, but it is again a problem to let the average remain average. I think if the pass-percentage is increased to a level where both the average and the bright student can avail to good opportunities in future, then we might attain uniformity.
For a balanced criterion and uniform outcomes, educators should serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, they should develop measures for better performance; on the other, they should set targets to aim for.
The progress of our school system towards providing quality education for all must be measured against a balanced set of indicators. Unfortunately, an exclusive focus on the pass rate provides perverse incentives for officials, principals and teachers to withhold opportunity by failing students in Grade 11 or insisting that they register as part-time candidates, and to compromise quality by moving them onto an easier subject set. We need to set ourselves more sophisticated indicators, in order to incentivize all actors in the system to improve the quality of teaching and learning, rather than to look for ways to play the system, at the expense of individual students and the country as a whole.