| Subhankar (middle) with Satpathy (left) atop the truck that went round the town. Picture by Himangshu Ranjan Deb
Cooch Behar, June 5: The marks were magical and it surely cast its spell on the people here.
Subhankar Roy Chowdhury of Nripendranarayan Memorial High School in Tufanganj today set an unbelievable record by scoring 999 out of a total of 1,000 in the higher secondary examination.
The town burst into spontaneous celebration as the school authorities brought out a 'victory' rally with Subhankar on a pick-up van accompanied by headmaster A. K. Sathpathy. Students of other schools joined in the rally, which began at 11 am and toured the main roads of the subdivisional town. People played with abir, and students splashed water on each other from their water bottles. The grim barrier between teachers and students faded as everybody joined in the gaiety.
'This is a historic moment and we want to savour this triumph as these events come only after a long long time,' Sathpathy said.
Subhankar said he had seven private tutors. 'I am grateful to my parents and teachers for supporting me, I want to be a software engineer, if I do well in the JEE, otherwise I want to study physics,' he added.
The people of the district had more to cheer. Arpita Pal, of Suniti Academy in Cooch Behar town, came first among girls in the state and stood third in the overall rankings with a score of 986. Pal shares the position with Abhinandan Ghosh of Jenkins School here.
Arpita, who had stood 18th in the Madhyamik examination, was overwhelmed with the results. 'I had eight tutors at home and I want to be an engineer,' she said.
Abhinandan too, had the same number of private tutors as Arpita. 'I used to study about nine hours daily and watched news from home and abroad,' he said. The headmaster of Jenkins School, Nirmalendu Deb, said the boy had made his school proud.
There was, however, one shadow that crossed the district's academic record. Cooch Behar has fared the worst among all the districts of the state as far as the pass percentage is concerned. Only 61.34 per cent of the examinees have passed this time.
'Schools in the villages do not have proper infrastructure and there is a lack of good teachers. These factors might have contributed to this low pass percentage. The rate of failure has always been high in the district,' said Bhupali Roy, the headmistress of Suniti Academy.