Harnessing positive trends 

Moa Jamir

The results of 2023 High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations in Nagaland, declared on May 24, have shown positive trends for often castigated government schools in Nagaland. 

In HSLC, Government High Schools (GHS) in Nagaland have rebounded from a relatively disappointing outcome in 2022, boasting a higher passing percentage, a reduced number of 'zero/nil results,' and an increased number of schools achieving a perfect 100% pass rate. The overall pass percentage in the State rose from 64.69% in 2022 to an encouraging 70.30% in 2023, while GHS witnessed a remarkable recovery from a mere 36.62% to a commendable 49.13% during the same period.

Although the performance is not yet comparable to that of private schools, which recorded a pass percentage of 91.15%, it marks the best performance since 2017, if not the highest pass rate to date. However, with the state's overall clearance rate reaching 70.32% in 2023, the performance of GHSs, despite the progress, requires ongoing attention from those in charge.

Meanwhile, the number of GHS achieving a perfect 100% pass rate more than doubled compared to previous years, with 29 schools accomplishing this feat in 2023. However, the issue of 'zero/nil results' remains a concern, although the number decreased from 33 GHSs in 2022 to 25 schools in 2023. Notably, GHSs such as Longjang, Saring, and Yaongyimsen Compound have maintained a flawless 100% pass rate for four consecutive years, while Khar and GHS Unger joined the hat-trick club in 2023. This demonstrates that the positive results are not isolated incidents but consistent achievements.

In the HSSLC results, Government Higher Secondary Schools (GHSS) stand shoulder to shoulder with their private counterparts, with some even surpassing them. The results revealed an improvement in the overall pass percentage of GHSSs in 2023 for both Arts and Commerce streams, with a slight decrease observed in the Science stream. Nevertheless, the clearance rates remained high at 84.21% for Arts, 90.98% for Commerce, and 85.77% for Science.

Three GHSSs, namely GHSS Zunheboto (Science), GHSS Naginimora (Arts), and GHSS Jotsoma (Commerce), achieved a perfect 100% pass rate. GHSS Zunheboto has repeated this feat three times in a row, while the other two schools accomplished it twice. Additionally, out of the 44 GHSSs offering the Arts stream, 31 recorded a pass percentage of 80% or above, and 18 GHSSs achieved an impressive pass percentage of 90% or higher. Similarly, all five GHSSs offering the Commerce stream had a pass percentage of 85% and above, while in the Science stream, 7 out of 9 GHSSs attained a clearance rate of 82% and above.

These performances highlight the significance of GHSS in providing affordable and accessible quality higher education across the state, besides addressing regional disparities, among others. For instance, In some districts, these institutions serve as the only avenue for students to pursue higher secondary education within going outside. As evident from the 2023 results, GHSS are the sole providers of Class 11 and 12 level education in four out of 16 districts in Nagaland in Arts stream. Furthermore, Commerce education is available only in six districts, with GHSS being the sole providers in five of them, while the Science stream is absent in six districts.

Government schools are essential and affordable public goods. While their value cannot be solely measured by examination results, improving their performance across the State serves the best interests of everyone. By harnessing best practices, implementing effective strategies, and providing necessary resources, the government can further enhance the capabilities of these schools, ensuring the provision of accessible and high-quality education to all students. The continued commitment to improving government schools is not only crucial for the academic success of students but also for the overall development and progress of the state.

For any comment, drop a line or two to [email protected]