Loss of Talent through SSEE
By Prem Misir
August 9, 2004
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|General Secondary||Secondary Dept of Primary||
|No. of students Enrolled||43,526 (67%)||11,276 (17%)||
|No. Of schools||79||284||
|No. of students Enrolled||31469 (49%)||22,186 (34%)||
|No. Of Schools||56||-||
|No. of students Enrolled||34,322 (46%)||27,515 (37%)||
|No. Of Schools||315||67||
Source: Education Profile, 1980:6) & Digest of Education Statistics, 2000-2001
For instance, in 1980 during the PNC era, the fact that 54% of students in both SDPS and community schools were less job-competitive than their counterparts in the elite and general secondary schools, indicated that they experienced some degree of marginalization.
Placement in General Secondary Education
At any rate, the early selection process and the stratified high school system favour high achievers and work to the disadvantage of those students who are placed at the lower end of the secondary education spectrum. In Table 1, in 1980, 39,802 (54%) students were not placed in a general secondary school, in 1983-84, the figure was 33,049 (51%), and in 2000-2001, only 21,645 (33%) students were deprived of this type of secondary school admission. In the PNC era, more than half of secondary school students were not in the classrooms of a general secondary school. These statistics show that, today, traditional secondary school student participation rates increased over the last decade, suggesting that more secondary school students have the potential to be more job-competitive. Over the last decade, the PPP/C has dramatically reduced student numbers by more than 50% in the SDPS and have enabled more students to experience a general secondary education.
Table 2: Availability & Student Entry at SSEE
|No. students in the 10 -12 age group||42,037 (Average)||47,697||N/A||
|No. Entered SSEE Exam||13,805 (Average)||17,409||19,308||15,376
Source: Digest of Education Statistics, 1966/67-1975/76; 1983/84; & 2000-2001
Clearly, Table 2 shows a marked improvement in the percentage of students presenting themselves for the SSEE in 2000-2001. In 2000-2001, the increase was 55% compared to 36% in 1975-76, and an average of 41% in the 1966-67-75/76 period. While the PPP/C Government has brought more students into traditional secondary education, there still is a huge loss of talent through the SSEE.