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English boost to entrance test scores

Students of the city’s English-medium schools have proved once again that they are better performers in the competitive exams than their counterparts in the state-aided institutions.

In sharp contrast to the merit list of the last several years’ Madhyamik and Higher Secondary (HS) exams, where students of Bengali-medium schools of the districts figure in larger numbers, candidates from prominent English-medium schools of Calcutta have scored higher in the current year’s Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE).

The results of a common entrance test organised by Calcutta University (CU) for admission of students to its newly-introduced bachelor in business administration course show that nearly 75 per cent of the students who cleared the test are from prominent English-medium schools.

Candidates from the state-aided Bengali-medium schools did not fare too well in the government-conducted JEE either. Results of the test for admission of students to engineering and medical colleges in the state were declared on Monday.

“A quick review has shown that the performance of students from the well-known city schools is better than those of their counterparts in the state-aided institutions in the districts,” said Sudipto Mukherjee, assistant member-secretary of the state JEE board. Mukherjee said students of the Ramakrishna Mission group of schools dominated this year’s JEE merit list in both engineering and medical courses. But if the overall JEE result is taken into consideration, the performance of students of English-medium schools is better than that of their counterparts in the Bengali-medium schools in the districts.

Seven of the first 20 JEE toppers are from the RK Mission group of schools. Five are from the English-medium schools of Calcutta, three from the city’s renowned Bengali-medium institutions and the remaining five are from the districts.

Calcutta University officials stressed that the performance of Bengali-medium school students was “miserable” in the common entrance test for the BBA course. “Students from schools like St Xavier’s, Loreto and La Martiniere have performed extremely well this year in the BBA entrance test. A preliminary study has revealed that the candidates from the Bengali-medium schools have failed to score because of their poor knowledge of English,” said Ranajit Chakraborty, dean of CU’s commerce faculty.

Sources in the commerce department, in charge of conducting the BBA entrance tests, said: “Candidates need a sound knowledge of English. The English paper of the entrance test is very tough. This is one of the reasons why students of Bengali-medium schools did not fare too well.”

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