Pass or Fail – no manipulation of pass marks in new assessment criteria

Unlike in the past, a student can no longer rely on their continuous assessment marks to make up should they fail in the written exam. This is because they now have to score at least 40 per cent in both written exam and continuous assessments. Earlier, a student could still pass even if he/she fails in the written but has high continuous assessment marks. The education ministry implemented the new assessment criteria from this academic session.

It has already been about seven months since the new assessment criterion was implemented, but the teachers and students of Wochu Lower Secondary School in Paro are still trying to adapt to the new system. Students look confused but they are slowly getting the hang of it.

According to the Principal, Karma K, some students were shocked to hear about the change, but for some, it was the beginning of the new phase of learning.

Although the pace is slow, teachers in the school are optimistic that the new system will nurture their students more.

According to a teacher, Pemo, due to a sudden change in the system, there is a high chance more students will fail. However, in the long run, she said it will benefit them more.

“The change won’t come immediately, but in years to come, I am sure the new system will foster our students more,” said Nima Singye, another teacher.

After the education system went through a sea of change following the global pandemic, the Department of Curriculum and Professional Development, under the education ministry, initiated the change to transform textbooks-based learning into competency-based learning.

As per the Dean of the Curriculum and Professional Development Department, Wangpo Tenzin, the new system will emphasize the formative assessment where the focus will be to assess all domains of learning such as intellectual, social, emotional, cultural and physical competency of students.

“Through this new assessment system, we should be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every child and support them accordingly,” he added.

And as the new system expects, students are already concerned about their performance and the need for a change in learning habits.

According to a student, Sangay Yoezer, after the new system was implemented, he has been actively taking part in every activity and even works harder. He said he will fail if he doesn’t score 40 per cent in both written and continuous assessments.

“We are working hard to score good marks, in both the written exam and continuous assessment,” said Sherab Dema, another student

Now that the new assessment criteria are rolled out, it is expected that the new system would improve the performance of both teachers and students in the country.

Yeshey Dema (Intern)

Edited by Chayku

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