As Burma’s Ministry of Education announced its high school matriculation exam results last week, Chin State had the lowest passing rate in the country.
Some 10,771 students took the exam in Chin State during the 2018-2019 academic year and only 2,110 passed, or 19.6 percent of students. Nearly 80 percent of those who took the test—which relies largely on rote learning—failed.
More than 250 students received distinctions in at least one subject, and in as many as five subjects.
“Many students in other states and regions are living in boarding schools with private teachers, so students get full support from their teachers. Here in Chin State, our students can not study like them,” Pau Lum Minthang, Chin State’s social minister, told Khonumthung News. “We are trying for Chin State to get a higher matriculation exam pass rate. To overcome this, I think, it much depends on the students and parental support.”
The exam pass rate for the 2017-2018 academic year in Chin State was 16.64 percent, signifying a slight improvement—three percent—this year.
Pau Lum Minthang also pointed out that in townships like Paletwa, which has seen active armed conflict, the exam pass rate has not increased, and remains under seven percent. Nearly 120 schools were without teachers there this year.
Falam Township had the largest number of students pass their exam: 29.43 percent. Mon State, in contrast, had the highest passing rate this year at more than 37 percent.