ucanews.com reporter, DhakaUpdated: July 28, 2017 10:11 AM GMT
Students from Notre Dame College in Dhaka gather and cheer after they receive their results July 23. (Photo Courtesy: Notre Dame College, Dhaka)
Catholic Church-run institutes in Bangladesh have continued their excellent run of academic performances despite a drop in the national college marks average.
Results for the college Higher Secondary Certificate results published on July 23 showed that out of 1.2 million students from 8,771 institutes, 68.91 percent passed. That rate was down from 74.70 percent in 2016.
However, 97.75 percent of students from 10 church-run schools passed.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid said the fall in the success rate and the number of highest achievers was not surprising. "There is nothing to be surprised about. We are getting the right assessment now," Islam said during a press conference July 23.
Joyti F. Gomes, secretary of the Bangladesh Catholic Education Board said the pass rate this year truly shows why church institutes have continuously been at the forefront of academic performance.
"Education is a major ministry for the church in Bangladesh, so we have always been committed to quality education. Besides regular classes, tutorials, exams, lab sessions and co-curricular activities, we also offer them education on values to enlighten their minds," Gomes told ucanews.com.
"Our education is intended for complete human development, so we often see our students translate their merit by getting admission to higher education institutes and achieving great success in their personal and professional life," Gomes said.
With a 99.25 percent pass rate, Notre Dame College in Dhaka, considered the finest college in Bangladesh, topped the rankings table.
"We have always been on top or near the top but it is not our goal. Our primary objective is to ensure comprehensive and quality education," Holy Cross Father Hemanta P. Rozario, principal of the college told ucanews.com.
Despite being a small minority, Christians and the Catholic Church play a vital role in Bangladesh's education sector.
The Catholic Church runs a university, 13 colleges and 580 primary or high schools, providing education to an estimated 100,000 students each year — most of them Muslims.