Preliminary results for the 2012’s Cambridge O’Level examination have not been released due to “difficulties” in analysis, the Ministry of Education has said, despite claiming “one of the highest pass rates to date”.
O’Level exam results from 2012 show “the most progress to date”, Minister of Education Dr Asim Ahmed told local media during his speech at the University Education Fair opening ceremony on February 19.
“These are preliminary results right now. It could take a little while to get the final results, we are in the process of verifying, which could change the findings,” Asim told Minivan News.
“However, this should encourage a good increase in A’level enrollments, because more students will be eligible,” he added.
The claims were upheld by Ibrahim Shakeeb from the Education Ministry’s Department of Examinations (DPE), who told Minivan News that the results from 2012 had not yet been finalised.
“This year has one of the highest pass rates. We already know it’s one of the best results this year. Students will be celebrating.
“The preliminary results are out, however the recheck process is still ongoing and will not be completed until late March. However, there won’t be a major change in the findings. The final results will probably show a slight improvement, following the recheck process,” Shakeeb stated, but was unable to provide the preliminary figures.
Shakeeb explained that the DPE acts as a mediator by providing exams to students and sends them back-and-forth to Cambridge International Examinations. Thus, DPE receives the ‘raw’ data, while the Education Ministry’s Planning and Research section conducts the analysis and disaggregates the information.
“The Planning and Research Section may be having difficulties because Ahmed Shafeeu previously handled the analysis, however he became the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture under President Waheed’s government,” said Shakeeb.
Former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed said it was a change in Ministry of Education practice for preliminary O’Level results not to be publicly disclosed.
Preliminary Cambridge exam results arrive in January or February, with little difference between these and the final results, she explained. Additionally, information from the provinces and islands should also be available.
“By now they should have the real results. Analysis of these findings should only require three days,” Shifa stated.
“I’m waiting to receive the statistics as per my request. I can’t understand why they are holding the [result] information or why it’s taking such a long time to analyse.
“I do not think they have done the analysis. It seems the government is dragging on it because they’re scared to show the results, because they’re not sure if they’ve achieved the marked improvement they’re aiming for,” Shifa added.
Shifa said exam results should show some improvement this year given the previously implemented programs and reforms, but said this would have depended on whether these programs were continued by President Waheed’s new government in 2012.
“Under former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government, we made it very transparent. We believe people ought to know how the budget is being spent and what kind of results the government is producing.
“I don’t think the public really knows the results these kids are producing. I think that [a current government] should actually make the people quite aware of major issues within the country,” Shifa stated.
Minivan News contacted Cambridge International Examinations, however they refused to provide statistics as well.
“This is the Education Ministry’s education policy. It is not for us to comment on the Ministry’s policy on their behalf,” a spokesperson said.
A source in the Ministry of Education told Minivan News that internally, the pass rate figure being passed around was 46 percent in 2012.
“I find very difficult to believe because that is a huge increase from 37 percent in 2011. It is very unlikely,” the source said.
“The pass rate was 35 percent in 2010 and 27 percent in 2009. Even with the numerous educational reforms implemented after [former President Mamuoon] Gayoom’s 30-year authoritarian rule ended, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) government was unable to reach the nine percent increase per year needed to achieve their goal of 60 percent of students passing within five years,” the source said.
Meanwhile, students are reported to have received their O’Level exam results at the end of January.
Minivan News contacted numerous people within the Ministry of Education, who either would not release the O’Level pass rate statistics, or would otherwise not respond.