Dhivehi and science subjects spearhead boost in O-level results, says Education Ministry

O-level results for 2010 continued a general trend of improvement, with particular gains in science subjects says Deputy Minister Education Dr Abdulla Nazeer.

Of the approximately 6700 students who sat the international standardised high school exams last year, 35 percent passed five subjects, up on 32 percent in 2009 and 27 percent in 2008.

“Out of 216 schools, 100 performed better last year at O’levels,” Dr Nazeer said. “Also, the number of schools achieving over 60 percent in five subjects rose from 9 to 15.”

In addition 197 students received perfect marks of 100, Dr Nazeer said, and were awarded A* – a new grade introduced this year. 330 students were in line to receive top achievers awards, he said.

“Another significant result was a drop in U-grades [ungraded], which is one of the biggest issues facing schools,” Dr Nazeer said. “It’s been dropping since 2009, from 22 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009 and 16 percent in 2010.”

Most major subjects showed a positive trend in results except for arts, geography and history, Dr Nazeer said, “subjects which are only taken by few students.”

Dr Nazeer noted “a huge increase” in science results, including chemistry, physics and maths, across the country.”

Dhivehi results improved 14 percent this year, “but unfortunately Islam didn’t do as well as expected, with a 1.5 percent decline, continuing a seven year trend.”

He suggested a further emphasis on Islam and Dhivehi at O-level. Regarding the Ministry steering committee’s controversial suggestion that both these subjects be made optional at A-level, Dr Nazeer said “we have got the technical advice to finalise the curriculum framework, but the political decision has not been made yet. We are sending Cabinet a paper towards the end of next month.”

While education was not a government manifesto pledge, Dr Nazeer noted, “I don’t think it will be difficult to achieve the goal of 60 percent pass in five subjects by 2013.”

Further focus in 2011 would be the development of “holistic education”, he said, explaining that this represented the promotion of physical education and extracurricular clubs, as well as leadership activities and ensuring students had the “opportunity to use technology in the classroom.”

The Ministry was also submitting a paper to Cabinet outlining a proposal to encourage students failing five subjects to remain in the schooling system for a further two years, with the opportunity to gain certificates and foundation diplomas.

The Education Ministry has also revealed an Rf 38 million (US$3 million) design for a replacement for Arabiyya school, after the school was closed following the collapse of a wall last year.

Funds for the new seven-storey building, to be built opposite Ameeniyya School, will be included in next years budget, Director at the Education Ministry Mohamed Yousuf told newspaper Haveeru.

The proposed structure includes 28 classrooms, computer lab, library, prayer room and a hall for 400-500 students, Haveeru noted, adding that the building would be completed by the end of the year and students transferred in time for the next academic year.

Bids for the project will be opened on February 17 after a pre-bid meeting on February 7, the Finance Ministry has stated.


14 thoughts on “Dhivehi and science subjects spearhead boost in O-level results, says Education Ministry”

  1. Increases in good grades and higher scores are not something that I feel happy about.

    It doesn't say much about whether the students learn anything.

    The students are encouraged to memorize and do rote learning. That is how it's been since 1978.

    The learning that Maldivian students does remain at the Knowlege and Comprehension level. It rarely or never reaches the higher levels of learning - Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation.

    If you go to a lower secondary school you will see that there is little time on spent on teaching actually. Most of the student's time from Grade 8 (Form 5)onwards is spent on doing past papers.

    If you go to a bookshop or a print shop you will find stacks of compiled and bound test papers for sale.

    Go to an island school you will find student are asked to attend extra classes where all they do is past papers.

    Exam papers from University of London and University of Cambridge at O/L and A/L usually have very similar questions and are often repeated within a span of 4-5 years.

    Most students who score high have teachers to provide private tuition for each or most subjects from Grade 1 onwards. Parents spend huge amount of money for that in Male as well as the islands. Most of the expat teachers earn 3 times more from going round to households as private tutors.

    Past papers are the reason why Maldivian student score so high as compared to those from other countries where I think students spend more time on learning than doing past papers.

  2. Dr Nazeer noted “a huge increase” in science results, including chemistry, physics and maths, across the country.”

    Now the question is what happens to these kids after school?

    why don't we see scientists in the research field?

    what the whole purpose of achieving high grades in science when we don't see them in the science field?

    I think its a waste of public money if this keeps going. We need more technical people to develop new industries. tourism is not the only industry we should focus.

  3. It would be a good thing to introduce a system of SAT and GPA (SAT mainly to determine the IQ, GPA to show your achievement index, as followed in the US

    In the US those who have high SAT and fail in school, low GPA still get a shot, as most would be recruited as military high tech fields where they get highly trained, other very technically specific fields with specialty training.

    high GPA/SAT guys go to those so called ivy league colleges.

  4. Neo:

    People who are rich are able to pay for a good education for thier children. Those children score highly, and continue studying at elite universities etc.

    The children of people who are rich tend to go on to be rich, most of the time.

    But is the wealth of these children mainly from thier education? Or is it because as well as family contacts, they have explanations and knowledge about how to get highly paid jobs from watching mum and dad.

    You can easily see how a kid with rich parents could finish O-levels badly, but take over as CEO of the family buisness and be a rich man.
    It is harder to see how a poor kid with good A-levels could find venture capitalists and start his own successful company.

    Education is a wonderful thing, but it is not the answer to the problems of the poor.

  5. @NEO no matter what medium(exams) you use fundamentally if you dont ...well teach them they fill fail . and teaching is not ONLY the responsibility of teachers, children are not like cars , you cant take them to a garage and "fix "them. like they say it takes a village to raise a child .

  6. I totally agree with Student, this focus on results have been a bane for our education system. Just put one of these typical A* student in a university study environment after A' level and see how they are able to even a formulate one critical questions. And I don't quite understand this holistic education, when 9-10 year olds have to spend most of their free time doing homework at home, unable to spend quality time with parents or just be kids. Sometime I wonder what they do at school, that they bring so much home work home.

  7. As a parent of a student who did the o-level exam this year, i blame the poor result in islam down to the markers and the examinations department. when a student puts in equal amount of effort as for other subjects and consistently scores above 95% including the two mock exams and gets a C for the o-levels their is something seriously wrong. i do not believe it has anything to do with the student, teachers, school management or parents. I urge the education ministry to look into this.

  8. maru-theyo - absolutely right! Where are our scientists?

    It's because learning science from the (partly censored) books is ok, and knowing science passing O'levels is good enough. But who can really understand science in this country? A scientist questions - but here, you are not supposed to question!

    What if a physisicist questions creation and thinks about the big bang theory?

    What if a biologist realizes that living beings were not just "made" at once, but have evolved over time and are still evolving?

    What will an araeologist think if he finds a fossil, a missing link, of which thousands have already been found, and starts questioning why God has buried it?

    So, tell me, why should science be encouraged in our country? Where is our tertiary education in natural sciences???

  9. while its good news we are improving on science subjects, i wonder how many schools in this country have science stream? how many labs and how many inspiring teachers available?
    and what is the future of these high scoring science students? are they encouraged to study further (not text book studies) do research etc?

    do the govt have a plan to increase the interest in science among commonn people? by TV series etc.

  10. @Marina, @Maru-theyo.

    Logical questions from both, but i suppose you would never get a real answer.

    May be some feel that scientists are not required, but madrasas with stupefying singing of the scripture is required for the fast entry into heaven? in other words an ignorant lot.

    What I have found out is you can ask any questions you want, but the moment your question, so much as borders on questioning the credibility of religious scripture / writings, you will face unprecedented hatred from most Maldivians. As if they think the more hatred that you show, the more religious-faith you want to prove you have, to your friends.

  11. Marina, here in Maldives, most people study (schools, colleges, universities) for the the sake of certificate, ie for pride and money. people are very egoistic and everyone wants their kid to have a better more reputable education and they wants their kid to be better than the neighbor. Everyones brain wash and spoon feed the children.

    I have met students who find it hard to study at universities since they were spoon fed during their schools days.

  12. I think the dhivehi islam carriculam is seriously in need of a refreshed look... I wonder y we r forced to read selected stories and then outline their plot in an examination.. We need to enforce proper use of a language and teach the expectatriates hw to talk in dhivehi... That must be the purpose of dhivehi subject... Not mindless promotion of stupid olden day story books (geez, make a history subject fo those stuff) and heck- raivaru, dnt even get me started.... Its just bull that got wiped out eons ago, and we never really had a need for... 

    Islam needs to be taught by well qualofied scholars and should start as a path that shows us understanding .. Not a history lesson again... We wont have to knw  smthn sahaabees death was what prompted a written quran do we? We dont really use that in life... Im sAying - go for the essential - day to day aspects and leave the researching to those in the special field... Its like ya all should know the earth is round, but we dont all need to know that the planet is round because the earth is big enough to cause gravity to pull it into a sperical form... See what im sayin?

    Plx excuse the spellin mistakes- i wrote this on a mobile device.


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