Calls to Reevaluate Math Exam for Language and Cultural Studies Graduates Raise Concerns Over Relevance and Equal Opportunities

โ€ฆ ๐‘ด๐‘ท ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘บ๐’•๐’–๐’…๐’†๐’๐’•๐’” ๐‘จ๐’…๐’—๐’๐’„๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’‚๐’“๐’š ๐‘ฌ๐’™๐’‚๐’Ž๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐‘จ๐’๐’๐’†๐’—๐’Š๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐‘ฉ๐’–๐’“๐’…๐’†๐’ ๐’๐’ ๐‘ซ๐’›๐’๐’๐’ˆ๐’Œ๐’‰๐’‚ ๐‘บ๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’Š๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’›๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘ฌ๐’™๐’‘๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’†๐’Š๐’“ ๐‘ช๐’‚๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ท๐’“๐’๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’”

Tshering Dorji

In a recent parliamentary session, the Minister of Education and Skills Development faced scrutiny regarding the inclusion of a math paper in the Preliminary Exams (PE) for graduates of the College of Language and Cultural Studies, Sheldra, and Institute of Science of Mind. Member of Parliament (MP) Yeshey Dem, Khamaed-Lunana, highlighted the difficulties faced by students specializing in Dzongkha, emphasizing the lack of relevance of mathematics to their fields of study.

According to Member of Parliament MP Yeshey Dem, Dzongkha students primarily focus on language and cultural studies, making it challenging for them to excel in mathematics. The mathematics section, constituting 50 percent of the PE, involves data analysis and problem-solving, posing significant obstacles for these students. The MP expressed concerns about the impact of this exam on their chances to showcase their talents and participate in the main examination, as failure to meet the required standards in the PE would prevent them from proceeding further.

The MP also raised concerns about the impact of mathematics paper on these students’ chances to showcase their talents and participate in the main examination. If Dzongkha students struggle with the mathematic paper and fail to meet the required standards of PE, they will not be allowed to sit for the main examination, hindering their overall opportunities from their academic achievement.

Questioning the necessity of the mathematics exam for Dzongkha students, MP Yeshey requested that the government explore alternatives to exempt them from sitting for this particular examination, given that their majors are focused on language and cultural studies.

In response, Minister JB Rai of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) acknowledged that in the past, students were not required to appear for the Preliminary Exams. However, due to the increasing number of graduating students, it became mandatory for all graduates to complete the PE as a prerequisite for the main examination.

The Minister assured that the government is actively engaged in discussions with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to address the concerns. They are exploring possibilities to alleviate the burden on Dzongkha students by potentially exempting them from the mathematics examination.

Kuenzang, a 25-year-old graduate from the Institute of Science of Mind, expressed his frustration with the Preliminary Exams (PE), stating, “I have appeared for the PE twice, and both times I only scored 42. The mathematics section, which accounts for 50 percent of the exam, proved to be extremely challenging due to its heavy emphasis on data analysis and problem solving.”

Dema, who specializes in Dzongkha, voiced her concern about the relevance of the PE to their chosen course of study. She emphasized, “It is irrelevant to our field of study to participate in the PE. As a result, we are missing out on opportunities to sit for the main examination and pursue careers as civil servants. Despite appearing for the PE twice, I did not pass.”

Yeshi Choden, currently working abroad, shared her disappointment with the PE system. She said, “I have taken the PE three times, and since my quota was exhausted last year, I felt disheartened when I didn’t pass due to mathematics exam, which had no relevancy to my main course. There are no further opportunities for me to sit for the main examination and fulfill my dream of becoming a civil servant.”

The testimonials from these students shed light on the challenges they face with the current PE structure, particularly regarding the mathematics section. Their experiences highlight the need for a comprehensive review of the examination process to ensure equal opportunities for students pursuing different fields of study and aspirations of civil service careers.

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