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Policy changes lower passing student numbers: Minister

Mohamed Rehan
02 June 2023, MVT 18:38
Minister of Education Dr. Aishath Ali during a previously held O'Level Top Ten ceremony--
Mohamed Rehan
02 June 2023, MVT 18:38

The Minister of Education, Dr. Aishath Ali, stated that the decrease in the number of students passing in five O'Level subjects was observed as a result of policy changes.

A total of 5,939 students took part in the Cambridge O’Level examinations held in May/June in 2022, out of which only 49 percent students passed from five subjects.

In response to a question raised by Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim, the Minister said that prior to 2019, statistics were prepared based on the number of students passing in five subjects was subject to students in the "Dhasvaaru" programme with three O'level passes and students in the BTEC programme with four O'level passes.

"So, this is not an actual representation. They exclude students who are not expected to pass in five subjects when calculating the statistics, and only include those students who are certain to pass," the Minister said.

However, the Ministry had abolished the previous policy and implemented new guidelines in 2019 enforcing all O’Level standard students to attend for five subjects.

"That is why the percentile appeared higher, but since this administration took charge, we have implemented significant changes. Students are now required to take a minimum of five subjects as we noticed a decline in numeracy and literacy rates in the academic sector," she added.

“That’s why Dhivehi, Islam, Mathematics, and English were made compulsory in every stream, and restrictions were placed to only drop these subjects in very severe or rare cases, that too after my assessment.”

Percentile of Students Passing in Five Subjects

2019: 68.9 percent

2020: 66.4 percent

2021: 50.3 percent

2022: 49.7 percent

The Mnistry had worked with schools with lower passing statistics for three years to improve the standards. Minister Aishath said that their efforts will now be reflected in student grades.

"We are seeing the results, with a significant increase in the number of students passing English, and Math showing a similar trend compared to previous years. The passing rate in Dhivehi is also improving, and we are seeing an increase in the number of students passing in five subjects," the Minister stated.

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