Why Students Fail In The Final Examination: An in-depth analysis
SOMALILAND STUDENTS ASSEMBLY (SOLSA), a newly founded organization which
represents Somali land students is going to take the lid off a menacing
problem: the failure of students in the final exam of secondary schools.
Since the downfall of the despot and the subsequent inception of Somaliland
in 1991, the education system has been developing and reached up to the
level of competing with countries in the region.
In 1996, the first secondary school was opened
in Somaliland, hence the fourth high school graduates took their Gc
examination last year. But every year, the results of the examinations are
shocking, because a great number of students fail. For instance in the final
exam of last year, twenty percent of students failed. Although the failure
rate was low when compared with the previous exams, another twelve percent
of the students didnít take their final exam for unknown reasons, and
another twenty seven percent of the students passed with Grade D which is
not a recognized grade in the world, even though the ministry of education
and the Center for British Teachers (CFBT) which conducts the final exams in
the Horn of Africa agreed to lower the passing grade down to Grade D in
order to let more students pass the exam. However there is an important
question, which is why so many students fail their final exam? To answer
this question, Somaliland Students Assembly (SOLSA) has researched this
problem in order to find out its causes. Emphatically the root causes of
this failure stems from three sides namely students, parents and teachers.
Students as the victims of this tragedy do shoulder a lot of responsibility
in educating themselves and they contribute a lot to this problem. Most of
the students neglected their learning because some of them regard the school
as pastime, coming only to wait for lunchtime. Others come to school to
satisfy their parents who would otherwise put pressure on their children.
These types of students donít focus on learning.
Another factor which makes students neglect their learning while they are in
school and at home is their indulgence in QAT and cigarettes. As the Somali
adage says (LAABI LABA U LAí) which is tantamount in English to: a person
doesnít have two hearts, meaning that they cannot make use their precious
time and focus on learning while they are searching for and chewing QAT.
The English language has become the first language in the world. For this
reason Somaliland students take their subjects in English with the exception
of Somali and Arabic languages. So it will be hard for the students to learn
something, if they donít comprehend the English language well, and suffice
it to say, it is the stumbling block to their learning and success in the
final exam. Paradoxically, most of the students do not know English well
although there are a great number of English language schools in the
country, so we can say failure is almost attributable to the lack of
comprehensibility in English language.
Normally, parents should have been taking the lionís share for educating
their children, but they do not play their role as they neglect their
responsibility towards the education of their children due to the following
Since a high percentage of our population is illiterate, parents completely
lose track of the education level of their children because they cannot help
them do their homework, or in other words, the home teaching process doesnít
Cooperation between parents and teachers rarely exists.
Teachers are the source of education and bear a great responsibility for
educating the students. But teachers get much of the blame due to the
They do not complete the annual curriculum, which is intended to be taught
for the school year.
They do not monitor the educational performance of the students, and they do
not report back to the parents.
Most of them are ill-trained as result of these two reasons:
Private schools, which are widely developing, attract the well-trained
teachers because of better pay rates, which are threefold of the salary
earned by teachers from the ministry of education.
Since the downfall of Siyad Barreís regime and the declaration of
Somalilandís independence in 1991, the teachers industry collapsed, and the
production of highly qualified teachers came to halt, and this forced the
ministry of Education to employ high school graduates as high school
In conclusion, we have gathered a number of suggestions which we think will
help in reducing the rate of failure in the schools, and they are as
To the students
1. Students should make use of their precious time, and learn as much as
they can to make their dreams and their parents' dreams come true.
2. They should go to school regularly instead of playing hooky. They should
read more and focus on learning while they are in school and at home. They
should learn English well, since English is the key to higher education.
TO THE PARENTS
They should keep track of the education level of their children.
They should encourage the students to read more and help them do their
homework. If the parents canít, they should hire a teacher to tutor their
children at home. They should build a tangible cooperation with the
teachers, in order to monitor the education level of the students.
TO THE TEACHERS
1. They should complete the annual curriculum.
2. They should avoid absence from their periods.
3. They should report back to the parents.
TO THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The ministry should raise the salary of the teachers in order to attract
highly qualified teachers.
The ministry should establish teachers training centers in order to produce
highly qualified teachers.
The ministry should supervise the schools regularly in order to know the
situation and the needs of the students.
By: Somaliland Students Assembly (SOLSA)