Imphal, May 28: As many as 73 of the 323 government schools in Manipur have a pass percentage of zero in the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) or the class 10 examination whose results were announced on Tuesday.
That is, there was not a single student in these 73 schools -- 22.6 percent of the total number -- who passed the HSLC examination conducted from March 1-19 by the Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BSEM).
There was a total of 6,484 students from 323 government schools that appeared in the examination, and only 2,781 got through, a pass percentage of 42.8 percent.
That compares poorly with the state's average pass percentage for HSLC 2016 of 61.52.
Furthermore, there are 28 government schools that had just one student each who passed the exam. And there is not a single government school that has a student in top 20 achievers.
What this clearly means is that government schools -- on each of which millions of rupees of public funds are being spent -- have been performing poorly as compared to the private schools.
Highly placed sources said, "The government has taken a serious note of the non-performance of the government schools. The only way out is to abolish some of these schools, so that students could get admission in private schools".
The situation has been steadily worsening year after year, according to official reports.
In 2013 there were 28 government schools which did not have a single student who passed the HSLC examination.
That number climbed to 48 in 2014 and 70 in 2015.
The examination results have dismayed the parents and the students alike.
Romen Chingtham, who had had sent his son to a government school, told IANS that he was disappointed by failure of his son to pass the exam.
"I am faced with Hobson's choice about his studies since I cannot send him to expensive private schools," he said.
Officials of the education department declined to explain the failure of some of the government schools to have a single successful student.
The government's solution to the problem has been to close down non-performing schools.
For instance, Tombisana high school in the heart of Imphal city was closed down and a marketing centre is now under construction there.
Bengali high school here was also demolished and the building for Ramkrishna Mission school is now coming up at the site.
The rich and the better off have long deserted government schools which are now left only with children of parents with modest means.