One of the biggest challenges the Intermediate students face after their matriculation is the dropout in their percentages. This decrease in percentage happens to more than 80 percent of the students. In this article, we are studying the reasons and causes because of which students fail to perform.
To begin with, this year’s pass rate was not an exception either:
- According to BIEK 2018 official reports, only 33 % of commerce students passed their intermediate examination whereas only 20% of Humanities students succeeded to clear their papers.
- Similarly, students who belonged to the sciences field shared the same ill-fortune of commerce and Arts students. As 43.23% of pre-engineering students and 53.91% of Medical students passed their examinations.
- On the other hand, according to BISE 59.87% of students passed their intermediate examinations in 2018.
Firstly, right after the matriculation, we see a gap in students’ studies both mental and physical. The physical gap is a relaxation period for the students to take a break from their long hours of studies after the SSC examination.
During the vacations, students get to express their physical freedom through hangouts, social gatherings and constant presence on social media. During this time, if you approach an intermediate student to know his/her daily routine, you will observe that they are trying to do everything except studies.
Whereas the mental gap is emerged out of their ‘’coming of age’’- the transition between childhood and adulthood. The fruits of this transition are that students start to question their identity, their role, and community’s functioning, as well as they, seek to attain independence from parents and guardians to take control of their lives. Not only this, but they also struggle to get accepted within their peers and society at large. What causes such a drastic change in a teenager’s life all of a sudden?
According to World Scientific News, the coming of age causes rebellious nature in most of the teens.
- Because of their pubertal frustrations
- Their identity crisis.
This can be managed if our education system recognizes the teenagers’ challenges in everyday life and address those issues more openly. What parents can do is to look out for the early signs, answer their queries and concerns instead of giving them a shut up call. Most of the time we see teachers and guardians chanting, ‘’Ab baraay hogai ho/hogaye ho bachoo’n wali harkatein choor do’’ (Now you are grown up stop such childish acts! ) to discipline the child.
However, more than creating a positive result it harms the child’s mentality and encourages the overall bad attitude. The seeds of ‘Adulthood’’ gets implanted during the SSC level and when they enter into Higher Secondary Education level they feel more empowered and consider themselves as a major decision maker which perhaps increases the mental gap from the studies.
Although a break from studies is necessary for a healthy mind and body, however, it’s exploitation is like a penalty payment which students have to pay in terms losing their chance to get higher secondary education and hence losing their self-esteem.
As we have shifted to the 21st century, we, as educationists, parents, and guardians must realize the needs of this age as well as of children. If we want to preserve our youth from bad influence then we have to talk about it more often.
Here the student is not to be blamed solely for his/her actions. Its responsibility equally falls on our educational boards: for not encouraging healthier activities. On parents: for not playing a role of positive support and lacking parenting skills; and on their previous schools: to not properly guide them for future challenges.
For a starter, we can bridge the gap by introducing and promoting educational content online, so that students can be indulged in learning activities. In addition, if the students’ 24/7 online presence is an offense then we can turn it into our defense by guiding our students to educational videos, simulations and constructive discussion forums that can help students to stay connected with their academic studies.
2.Dependency on Coaching Centers
According to the National Education Policy of Pakistan(2017), intermediate level prepares the student for the world market and enhances the skills. It’s akin to a crossroad where different opportunities are available that could change ones’ world and its view.
However, with the rampant coaching centers everywhere and less college education, we see students failing to believe in themselves and their capabilities. The increase of dependency on coaching centers have stolen away students’ self-confidence. It is not a secret anymore how coaching centers feed on the fear of students and parents.
One of the students told MyInterAcademy:
‘’Not attending a coaching center for financial reasons made me stay behind my classmates. My friends used to attend the popular coaching centers where they were provided with all the notes and lectures, and there I was feeling alienated from others and contemplating my very own existence. I started to lose my self-confidence because I always felt I do not know anything whereas everyone else was excelling in studies. I even stopped trying because of my frustration to not understand a concept. On top of that, my college was not supportive either. My friends always talked about their coaching centers which made me thought that passing the papers is only possible when I will join a coaching center and this led me to fall into the ultimate pit of failure and not relying on my own abilities.’’
One thing which every student need to ask themselves: If most of the students go to coaching centers why then they fail to achieve A grade in studies?
The answer is in the students’ approach and behavior. They must realize going to coaching centers do not guarantee successful results; it’s just a part of a bigger picture.
In addition, some coaching centers fail to provide quality education even though they have a high number of students. Their sole purpose of existence is commercial ventures and spoon-feeding the syllabus and textbooks. One of the teachers responded to a question if online education is worth it, as ‘’No one will study online because there are no girls there. Hence no fun’’. Such an attitude from teachers is quite alarming and questionable. What kind of values are we really promoting in the name of coaching/tuition centers?
Nevertheless, If students see their own shortcomings related to studies and of those who are around only then they can change themselves and immerse themselves into the deep pleasure of studies.
Till then the question lingers: Can we really harbor creativity, self-exploring and critical thinking skills in our students with a negative attitude and falsified believes?
Our examination system whether it’s HSC or SSC is well known for memory testing and rote learning(Ratta-ficcation). However, a slight difference between the two is that the checking criteria. Usually, students and teachers assert that the main reason for a decrease in HSC percentage is that, the SSC teachers follow less rigid marking criteria whereas in Intermediate they act like a military person who is rigid and strict.
Moreover, the existing syllabus of Intermediate level does not assess knowledge or specific understanding of the topic rather it’s main focus is to see what the child has produced on paper out of his memory. Similarly, the examining bodies ensure that they follow a pattern i.e., not deviating from the past papers. As a result, their percentages drop.
In addition, students’ academic disciplines offered at Intermediate level is narrow and restricted. One of the reasons for failing to achieve good grades is the lack of interest in such fields. As time passes, students enter into their teenagehood they start exploring different fields which in result make them lose interest in studies and hence they find it quite challenging to develop any passion for studies.
4.Health-Both Mental and Physical
The percentage of Intermediate student depends on a number of factors including the status of health which cannot be ignored. Health and education exist in a directly proportional relation. If the health is subsided or ignored then its impact is going to influence the learning process and education and vice versa. Both of these factors are really important for our teenager’s productivity.
To perform great in examinations, a student’s overall health is important. It is observed that whenever the exams are near students fall sick which is due to the academic pressure. Hence it results in poor performance. Furthermore, if a student is unable to attend the class due to sickness or misses a lecture then he/she has to face the consequences. The teacher only repeats the topic when her course is done and in most of the cases, the topic is never repeated.
Due to the inability to understand the topic, such students perform rote learning which promotes the fossilization of many concepts, therefore, when they transitioned to further higher studies the unlearning of such concepts take time; till then the student is doomed to commit the same mistake again and again.
According to Student Health Programme(2010), following are the basic necessities for a healthier student:
- Clean drinking water (with regular water quality monitoring)
- Gender and culturally appropriate sanitation/toilet facilities
- Spacious classrooms
- Proper seating arrangements
- Playgrounds etc.
- Also, A child-friendly environment Access for disabled and physically challenged
However, how many colleges or coaching centers do we see that have all these basic facilities? Apart from physical health, students mental health also plays a vital role. According to a study, one in five students experiences mental health-related issues. Ill health surely can affect the learning process, the social interactions, and classroom relations. The teachers, parents, and guardians need to discuss these issues from time to time so that students open up themselves and do not burden themselves alone. If these issues are left unattended then it can create an unfavorable condition for many students.
5. Lack of Study, Planning, Guidance, and the list goes on…
The final and also the most important reason why students fail to get good grades is because of the lack of focus, time management, and proper planning.
We acknowledge that the life of an intermediate student is not easy- the burden of the syllabus, hectic daily routines, relationships problems, identity crisis, and the chaotic life itself. However, all these problems can be solved if students learn the art of planning and time management. These skills are never out of fashion nor are the importance of it declining any time soon.
Pablo Picasso, the famous artist of all times, says that ‘’Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
It is unfortunate that our students do not set their goals nor are they taught to have definite plans.
‘’By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’’ says Benjamin Franklin.
Moreover, students also fall into the trap of ‘I-know-it-all’’ attitude which obscures their success, progress, and learning. They should be conscious of their weaknesses in order to avoid being overconfident. Keeping track of their studies and having a focused mind will definitely help them achieve good grades.
The intermediate level is the bridge between Matriculation and University and it is obvious that more powerful the bridge the easier it will be to reach the destination. Those students who want to increase their percentage, by all means, need to work harder and smartly. They need to realize that Intermediate is a higher secondary level of education that is why they need to go beyond the boundaries and work hard.
It is said that successful learners have the ability to connect to their studies and can see the relevance of the subject that is taught. They are also intrinsically motivated to learning. However, not everyone is able to engage oneself in self-directed learning.
Therefore, internet facility and educational platforms have created many opportunities for such young learners by providing lecture 24/7 and making learning fun through interactive videos, simulations, and self-assessments.
Our students in this digital and informational age cannot be just passive learners and online education seems to bring an immersive experience where they can analyze, criticize, interact, learn, observe and self-reflect on their studies.