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Reasons why boys lag behind girls in SSC, HSC exams

A Correspondent:
Boys are increasingly lagging behind in secondary and higher secondary examinations, as the re-cent SSC 2024 results have demonstrated. This trend has led many including the Prime Minister to wonder why boys are underperforming in schools.
Educationists have pointed out that many boys are glued to their mobile phones and social media platforms even when at home, resulting in inattentiveness and lack of focus. In contrast, girls tend to be more attentive and diligent in their studies. As a result, male students in schools are falling behind their female peers.
Experts believe that boys’ addiction to technology, coupled with inattentiveness in class and a ten-dency to disobey their parents contribute significantly to their educational lag. Conversely, girls benefit from stronger parental control and are more focused on their studies.
Government initiatives such as promoting social awareness about girls’ education, preventing child marriage, and offering scholarships have also boosted girls’ participation and success in education.
Girls ahead
Recent results from the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations underscore this trend. Girls have outperformed boys with an 84.47% pass rate compared to 81.57% for boys. Additionally, more girls achieved the top GPA-5 score, with 98,776 girls attaining this grade against 83,353 boys.
PM calls for investigation into boys’ underperformance
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during the release of the 2024 SSC examination results on May 12, highlighted the need to investigate the reasons behind boys’ declining performance. She empha-sized that while the higher pass rates for girls are positive, it is crucial to understand and address why boys are falling behind.
The Prime Minister also raised concerns about teenagers forming gangs, noting that this trend is unacceptable. She stressed the importance of guiding youth towards productive activities and away from delinquency.
Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel acknowledged the Prime Minister’s direc-tives, stating that while scholarships are provided equally to both genders, additional measures may be needed to support boys’ educational progress. The ministry is committed to investigating the underlying reasons for boys’ underperformance.
Dhaka University Emeritus Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury attributed boys’ lagging behind to excessive use of social media and a lack of discipline. He noted that boys are more likely to be dis-tracted and less attentive in their studies compared to girls, who are often under stricter parental supervision.
Rasheda K Chowdhury, educationist and a former caretaker government adviser, echoed these sen-timents, pointing to boys’ misuse of the internet and time-consuming gaming habits as significant factors. She emphasized the need for boys to adopt the same values and responsibilities instilled in girls to achieve educational parity.
Heads of various educational institutions reported that many boys are becoming involved in gangs and antisocial activities at a young age, which detracts from their academic focus.
Distinguished educationist and Emeritus Professor of BRAC University, Manzoor Ahmed, noted the absence of research on boys’ educational lag and highlighted the visible involvement of young boys in non-academic activities, such as teenage gangs, as a growing concern.
While girls continue to excel in the educational sphere, boys’ addiction to social media and other distractions necessitates urgent attention from parents, educators, and policymakers to ensure bal-anced academic success for all students.

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