From RCSE to BCSE – A persisting issue

| Karma Yuden, Thimphu

The performances of graduates who sat for the Bhutan Civil Service Examinations (BCSE) this year has improved as compared to last year, especially for the general category, aspiring for the post graduate diploma in public administration (PGDPA). However, graduates those who have got through the examinations as well as those who could not are questioning about the percentage marks allotted for academic performance.
In the final examinations of the BCSE, from the 100 percent, 70 percent is allotted for written performance in the examinations; 20 for viva and 10 for academic performance in the university examinations. According to some graduates, this division, especially the percentage allocated for academic performance in the university, is not fair, as students who go to universities where the teachers are “very lenient” in awarding marks, are at an advantage.
A graduate, who could not get through, just because of one percent, says that when compared to those who “drove ahead,” his performances in both the written BCSE examinations and vivas are better. “But I got just about 6 in the university academic performance, which pulled my overall percentage. I compared my marks with others who got through and found that they got through because of the very high ratings in their academic performance.” He mentioned that academic performances depend on the courses taken and the universities students graduate from. “I do not want to generalize but most students who graduate from India score very high marks and land up getting even more than 9 out of the 10 percent allocated for academic performance. I do not think it is fair.”

Similarly, another graduate who sat for the post graduate diploma in financial management (PDDFM) and could not qualify, because of a whisker said the same. He mentioned that it may be difficult for organizers of the BCSE and concerned authorities to come up with a very correct mechanism. “It would be difficult to say that some colleges give more marks. The best solution would be to down away with this criterion and award no marks for academic performances.”
Proponents of this criterion have a different story. “BCSE is a test of how much we have learned in our days at schools and colleges. The final culmination is the university examinations and I feel that there is every right to include this criterion when our performance in BCSE is concerned,” a graduate from India, who obtained 8 percent in the same criterion and got through the examination, said.
The issue deliberated is not new. It was voiced out and criticized during evolutions called as the Royal Civil Service Examinations. An employee of the RCSC, who sought anonymity said that when graduates from Sherubtse College, which was then under the Delhi University (DU) sat for the examinations, the same issue was voiced. “It was mainly students who completed their Bachelors in English Honours and Bachelors in Economics. They used to say that it is very difficult to score even 50 percent, while those studying Geography could score more than 80 percent, giving them an edge in the RCSC examinations.” He mentioned that with all colleges in Bhutan under the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), the difference in academic performance is marginal.
Meanwhile, the BCSE 2017 saw Phurba Tshering, a graduate from IMS Unison University in India top the examinations, with 75. 97 percent. Closing following him is Jamyang Chhophel, a graduate from the same college, who obtained 73.95 percent. Both tool BA Journalism and Mass Communication.
Speaking to The Journalist, Jamyang Chhophel thanked His Majesty the King, teachers and family for his achievement. “Without the gracious support from His Majesty, we would not have been able to even study and graduate successfully. The BCSC examinations test what we have learned in our 15 years of education. I am very grateful to His Majesty for all the love, support and inspiration that I and all students received,” he said.
Third in this category is Dorji Wangchuk, a graduate who studied Economics from the University of New England, Australia. He scored 73. 93 percent. In the PGDFM, Kinzang Jamtsho, from the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) who scored 71.3 percent topped. Graduates from the Institute of Langue and Cultural Studies, Taktse took all the positions. Karma Loday scored 68.35 percent; Dorji Drakpa 67.79 percent and Rinzin Wangmo 65.31 percent.

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