Class-V students outside the capital have beaten those in Dhaka in the primary education terminal examinations for the second year in a row.
Of the 57 students of the top-10 merit list, 51 are from outside Dhaka district, according to the results published yesterday. Students from Tangail dominated the merit list with 17 of them saw their names on it. Last year, nine out of the top 10 students were from outside Dhaka.
The overall results of the terminal examinations held for second time marked a significant rise in success rate, 92.34 percent, coupled with an increase in the number of students obtaining first division. Last year's rate was 88.84 percent.
A total of 17,91,651 students -- 8,29,531 boys (92.75 percent) and 9,62,120 girls (91.98 percent) -- passed the examinations this year.
Schools in Dhaka, however, dominated the top-10-schools list, which is prepared considering overall performance of schools.
As in the previous year, girls dominate the merit list with 32 of them on the list. Boys, however, are ahead of girls in terms of average success rate. The number of girls who sat for the exams was also higher than boys.
Some 4,56,694 girls achieved first division against 4,024,60 boys.
As many as 8,59,154 students obtained first division, 7,25,790 second division and 2,06,707 third division while 1,48,680 failed. A total of 21,56,721 students from 85,891 schools of different categories had registered for the exams but 19,40,331 showed up in the exam halls.
Al Yasa, a student of Kodalia Government Primary School in Tangail, secured the first spot in the country obtaining 598 out of 600.
Sadiya Hassan of Rajoir Model Government Primary School, Madaripur, and Naimur Rahman Nayeem of Shrishti Academic School of Tangail jointly secured the second position scoring 596.
Saptarshi Chanda of Chandranath Government Primary School in Srimangal of Moulvibazar and Tanvir Anjum Saadh of Monohardi Model Government Primary School in Monohardi, Narsingdi also jointly stood third securing 595.
The number of schools with cent percent pass rate this year is 51,576 while the number of institutions with zero success is 2,787. Schools attached with Primary Training Institute (PTI) and those run by Brac, a non-government organisation, did well while Ananda schools, run under another government project, did the worst.
The examinations began on November 23 and ended on November 29.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Ameen briefed newsmen around 12:15pm at his secretariat office about the results. Prior to that, the results were formally handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina around 10:00am.
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Ministry Motahar Hossain said the government did not give any grace this year like the previous year when it gave 20 grace marks.
He said the students would be provided mark sheets within three days and they can get admitted to class-VI showing the mark sheets. No money would be needed to take the mark sheets, he said.
The scholarships would be announced within a month, he added.
Asked about schools with zero passes, Ameen said the number of government schools with zero pass has come down to 43 from last year's 117 as they took extra care to bring the number down.
Of the 43, seven schools had failed in the previous year. "Punitive actions will be taken against those," he said.
Motahar said the result showed a significant improvement in the quality of primary education.
"Learning from past we have given our best to make the teachers more active by training them and giving other facilities in the last one year," he told The Daily Star.
He said the students and their guardians became aware about the competition as there is a scholarship based on the results.
Free distribution of cent percent textbooks, increased stipends to boys and girls, continuing mid-day meals, and involving upazila administration in the monitoring and evaluation activities helped lift the education level up to this, he observed.
Rashed K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), told The Daily Star, "The students of our country can do well if they get proper opportunities to study. Since the dependency on coaching centres does not start at the primary level, the students from outside the country are also doing well.”
Regarding the performance of girls, she said, "The demand for girls' education has increased among guardians as they would not get stipend if they don't do well in the examination. Another thing is that the girls are more studious than boys."
Sahida Khatun, head teacher of Kodalia Government Primary School, said guardians are now more aware of their children's education and that is why they are looking after their children's education more.
"We take a lot of tests round the year so the students have good preparation for their examinations. The teachers of our school teach after preparing a lesson plan at the beginning of the year," she told The Daily Star.
Husne Ara Begum, principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, said it is the combined efforts of all behind such feat.
"Everyone has merit and the result proved that if students are nurtured well they can do well," she said.
Like the previous year, Viqarunnisa Noon School and College headed the top-10-schools' list while Monipur High School and Ideal School and College, Motijheel secured second and third.
Students of Barisal division did the best among the seven divisions with 97.14 percent passed while Sylhet was at the bottom with 86.35 percent passed. Dhaka was fifth with 91.86 percent passed.
At district level, Munshiganj topped among 64 districts with 99.41 percent success rate.
At upazila level, Mehendiganj upazila of Barisal; Dumki of Patuakhali; Shibchar of Madarpur; Tongibari of Munshiganj had 100 percent students passed while Chilmari upazila of Kurigram, had the lowest success rate with 48 percent.