JAKARTA - Deputy Education and Culture Minister Musliar Kasim has said that 2,335 out of 3.7 million junior high school students failed May's national exams.
"The percentage of students who passed the exams increased from 99.56 per cent last year to 99.94 per cent this time," Musliar said as quoted by tempo.co.
Musliar added that Aceh, West Sulawesi and North Kalimantan were the provinces with the highest numbers of failed students, while Jakarta, East Java and Central Java had the lowest.
According to Musliar, technical problems caused the majority of the students' failures, including absences in the subjects of Indonesian, English, science and math.
Meanwhile, he said 70 per cent of all junior-high students who sat the exams answered international-standard questions correctly, according to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
These questions are used in developing countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Musliar added that the total average score in this year's national exams had increased from 6.1 last year to 6.52.
A student is considered to have passed the national exam if he or she receives an average score of 5.5, with no score lower than 4 for each subject.
This year, the Education and Culture Ministry decided to implement a new scoring system to determine whether a junior-high student had passed the exams.
According to the system, a student's total score in the national exams contributed 60 per cent to the assessment, while the other 40 per cent came from test results obtained during coursework.