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Second chance hope for secondary failures

Calcutta, June 5: Madhyamik examinees may not have to lose a year if they fail in a subject or a particular group but manage to score qualifying marks in the aggregate.

The Centre is planning to ask state governments to make arrangements so that secondary-level examinees failing in a subject or a group are able to seek admission to Class XI and clear the failed papers the following year.

The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently held a meeting with representatives of various state education boards to discuss the proposal.

If implemented, the system will have to be followed by all states conducting Madhyamik or equivalent exams.

According to the proposal, if a student fails in, for example, the science group, but scores pass marks in the aggregate, he/she will be able to seek admission to Class XI with other successful examinees.

The student can write the science papers the next year while studying for plus II.

Under the existing system, an examinee who fails in even one subject or a group but scores pass marks in total has to wait till the next year. Not just the papers in which the student had failed but all the papers for eight subjects have to be written again.

Compulsory papers in the Madhyamik course are divided into three groups ' the language group comprising first and second languages, the science group with mathematics, physical science and life science and a third group for history and geography.

'We cannot arrive at a conclusion before discussing the Centre's proposal thoroughly with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and also the teachers. The board is examining it,' said school education minister Kanti Biswas.

The government has two options ' holding a supplementary examination a month or two after the announcement of the Madhyamik results or allowing such students to enter Class XI and permit them to clear their backlog in next year's Madhyamik. The board, sources said, is expected to make an announcement on its stand in the next two weeks.

There is a long-standing demand among students, guardians and teachers that the government introduce supplementary examinations for Madhyamik candidates.

The board used to conduct supplementary examinations till the early 1980s. They were stopped as it did not have adequate infrastructure and manpower for holding two examinations in a single year. The teacher's opinion on the issue is essential as they will have to evaluate the papers twice.

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